Ontario Regulators Tweak Lottery Self-Service Terminal Standards

Ontario Regulators Tweak Lottery Self-Service Terminal Standards
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The latest batch of standards for next year’s launch of Ontario lottery self-service terminals was released by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario on Wednesday, setting the stage for the next phase for the project.

The new set of Ontario Lottery standards include items relating to responsible gaming practices, as well as what types of games cannot be offered at the facilities (sports & event betting, card and table games, slots and real-time play games).

Additionally, the OLGC threw in standards concerning accurate and reasonable turnaround timing for all gaming payouts, with another standard seeking to prevent machine tampering.

The new facilities fall under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act of 1992, which authorized the AGCO to regulate the province’s gaming industry, including all responsible gaming oversight. The lottery has been going on for decades in Canada’s most populous province. The AGCO also oversees Ontario sports betting and iGaming.

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Biggest Takeaway From New Set Of Standards

The major data point included in the latest batch of standards from the AGCO is the continued inability to take wagers on games and other events, which is reserved for approved retail and online operators in the province.

The new standards lay out that such betting activities are prohibited at the new self-service terminals, with the machines only permitted to offer draw-based and instant games.

Other than that, most of the other standards concern rather mundane elements of gaming operation that concern payout timing and responsible gaming obligations for terminal hosts.

In the lottery’s press release, officials made sure to reiterate that the new SST-based gaming terminals will be held to the same standard, when it comes to integrity and oversight, as Ontario online casinos play and sports betting.

“The OLG and their new SST product will be held to the same high standards as other lottery products, including specific standards developed for responsible gambling and prohibiting access to designated groups,” the release reads. “The AGCO will continue to monitor OLG’s rollout of these terminals and, as with all gaming, will ensure that SST-based gaming is conducted with honesty, integrity and in the public interest.

Ontario saw $14.2 billion in total wagers in Q2 of the 2023-24 fiscal year, covering July 1 to Sept. 30. That total wager number does not include promotional wagers (bonuses). That’s up 1.4% from $14.0 billion in Q1 (April 1-June 30).

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Christopher Boan is a writer at OntarioBets.com. He's covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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