Just recently, iGaming Ontario informed that it has resolved an issue where players might have used a responsible-gambling program loophole to null online wagers. The province’s iGaming market kicked off last year, and shortly after reports emerged that there was a way for bettors to take advantage of a bug and cancel losing bets.
As a regulated market, every operator in the province’s sector must provide a voluntary self-exclusion program which locks away a player and keeps them away for a predetermined period of time. The program was able to cancel all future bets for self-excluded players and return unused funds to bettors. However, some users may have taken advantage of it said regulators.
Issue Now Resolved
Last summer, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario said it was aware of the issue about the self-exclusion glitch which allowed users to void bets. Meanwhile, there was another issue of players being able to bet on the other side of an event through a different operator, which could have given them an option to both get a refund and secure a winning play.
This week, the regulator said that it has updated the rules to clarify the voiding and refunding of wagers for self-excluded users. While bets are to be concluded when a user voluntarily excludes from playing, the regulator now mandates to only fully refund a bet if a player enrolls with a self-exclusion program before the start of the event to which the wager applies.
In its statement, AGCO said operators are not required to refund a wager if the player enrolls in a self-exclusion after the commencement of an event or series of events on the outcome of the wager is determined. Also, the regulator explained that the changes in policy were made after careful consideration and talks with the industry and are in effect from February 28, 2023.
iGO noted a centralized self-exclusion program calls for an integrated effort across all provincially licensed operators, while also enabling player privacy with a secure and confidential program. It said the centralized self-exclusion program is being informed by best practices identified in academic research and from learnings across international jurisdictions with multi-operator igaming self-exclusion programs.
Dealing with Illegal Operations
Recently, AGCO issued its annual report from April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022, in which iGO vowed to take further action against illegal operators in the province. The regulator expects that even more operators will make the switch, thus boosting the economic benefit and revenue for the province. Now dealing with the offshore more will be one of the main items on the agenda.
Ontario’s iGaming market quickly turned into one of the largest on the continent, and its popularity attracted plenty of interest from outsiders. According to GeoComply, a geolocation service provider, it blocked over 9,000 attempts from people located outside of the province who were trying to place online wagers on the Super Bowl.
Source: Zochodne, Geoff “Ontario Regulator Closes Online Sports Betting Self-Exclusion Loophole” Covers, March 9, 2023