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Ontario bans celebrities from promoting online gaming

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Ontario bans celebrities from promoting online gaming

On April 4, 2022, the Canadian province of Ontario finally liberalized its online gaming market, placing it under the control of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, better known by its acronym AGCO.

The AGCO recently updated its regulations to protect minors more effectively against the influence of online gambling advertising.

This famous amendment will come into force on February 28, 2024. It prohibits athletes and celebrities from promoting online games in Ontario.

A decision taken after extensive consultation

During the first year of existence of the liberalized online gaming market in the province of Ontario, AGCO took an interest in the advertising strategies of the various operators.

It realized that many were using the fame of athletes or celebrities to attract younger players. That’s why the organization decided to update its regulations, with the main aim of protecting minors as effectively as possible.

Back in April, the AGCO launched an in-depth consultation on its intention to ban athletes and celebrities from promoting online games in Ontario.

The consultation gathered opinions from health organizations, responsible gambling experts, gamblers and operators among others. In the end, a certain consensus emerged, which convinced the AGCO to implement this famous ban.

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The words of AGCO’s CEO

A short while ago, AGCO’s Chief Executive Officer (Tom Mungham) spoke about this decision. In particular, he pointed out that children and younger people are strongly influenced by the athletes and celebrities they admire.

This is why it has been decided to prohibit them from advertising online games in Ontario. However, they can of course continue to be used to promote responsible gambling practices.

Under the term celebrity, Tom Mungham let it be known that AGCO included artists and TV personalities of course, but also models or social media influencers as well as cartoon characters or even any symbols likely to resonate with minors.

An update on the online gaming market in Ontario

Ontario is Canada’s most populous province, home to no less than 38.3% of the global population.

Its liberalized online gaming market quickly became a huge success. In its first year of operation, it ranked among the top 5 in North America. In total, it generated revenues of 1.4 billion Canadian dollars, thanks to more than 1.6 million active player accounts.

Online casino is the most popular sector in Ontario. In the second quarter of 2023, it accounted for no less than 83% of the market, compared with 14% for sports betting and 3% for poker.

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