Last week, Toronto hosted this year’s edition of the Canadian Gaming Summit, which heard input from various officials of iGaming Ontario and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Regulators said that in the upcoming weeks, there will be development on the topic of the volume of sports betting ads during games, with plans for tighter restrictions.
Over the last several months, Ontario regulators have received plenty of complaints over the influx of iGaming ads on TV and during sports games. This was caused by the opening of the province’s new market for online gambling and sports wagering, which invited dozens of gaming operators to join and operate legally in the province’s regulated framework.
Ads Will Be Constrained Soon
At the summit, officials said that they received 38 responses to their previously suggested amendments to the advertising standards, which included a ban on the use of sports stars in ads by operators. In addition to those, the regulators also received an additional 10 responses from community groups, including municipalities and numerous associations.
Tom Mungham, CEO and registrar of the AGCO revealed the decision is just weeks away and not months. Various representatives from mental health and responsible gambling fields from all around the country were present at the meeting with many of them participating in numerous panel discussions throughout the three-day event. With gambling ads being mentioned on several occasions.
An executive said that the sector will see how the new amendments play out and that they already have an idea of the outcome. He said that marketing teams are already factoring in these proposed changes into their future plans. Noting it was unfortunate, as many brands put tons of time, energy, and money has been invested on these athletes to feature in endorsements.
In the meantime, AGCO said it will provide operators three months to accommodate into compliance with any improved advertising measures when they are complete. If that decision arrives soon, then it could have a major impact on private operators in the province and their marketing initiatives before the start of the new NFL, NHL, and NBA seasons in the fall.
iGaming Ontario Executive Director Martha Otton spoke on the first year of Ontario’s new market and said the province crushed it in terms of results. In the first 12 months, the province delivered CA$1.4 billion in total gaming revenue. According to Ms. Otton now there are 45 operators up and running in the market and they run over 70 websites for local bettors to choose from.
Contributing to Job Creation
It was also reported that the new iGaming framework brought almost 10,000 new job positions since its launch. Some of the brands have operations in the province providing more than 1,800 direct jobs with an average of CA$103,000 in annual compensation. In addition to that, there were 7,900 indirect jobs which were created by suppliers to those gambling brands.
Source: Warren, Greg “Ontario Regulators: Decision on Amendments to Gambling Advertising Standards ‘Just Weeks Away’” Canada Sports Betting, June 16, 2023