Last week, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario published its annual 2022-23 report. In the report, the online gambling regulator of Ontario recapped key highlights from the fiscal year. It also disclosed numbers from iGaming Ontario, a subsidiary overseeing the province’s online casino sector, delivering CA$2.5 million in provincial contribution per full-time employee.
The start of the fiscal 2022-23 coincided with the launch of Ontario’s iGaming market for private operators which is the first of its kind across Canada. The online casino framework was introduced to protect consumers in the province who every year put billions of Canadian dollars on unregulated websites where player protections are not high on the agenda.
Key Points from the 2022-23 Report
In the report, AGCO disclosed some impressive numbers from the fiscal years, such as that iGO provided CA$2.5 million in provincial contribution per full-time equivalent employee. It also disclosed an employee satisfaction rate of 84%. This number was higher than iGO’s initial target and also among the leaders of any Ontario government agency.
Meanwhile, the report also provided a closer look at iGaming numbers from the FY. Licensed operators in the province handled over CA$35.5 billion in wagers from approximately 1.6 million active player accounts. It helped support over 12,000 jobs in the region and delivered over CA$96 million in net income and more than CA$145 million in total fiscal contributions.
In addition to that, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake filed for a notice of application with the Ontario Superior Court against iGO and the Attorney General of Ontario. This is in search of a declaration that the local government does not conduct and manage online lottery as stated under s. 207(1)(a) of the Criminal Code, and arguing the province’s iGaming model.
AGCO Announces Advertisement Changes
But the introduction of an open iGaming sector in the province has caused an influx of betting advertisements during sports games, and parents and experts have called for change. In light of this, in the summer of 2023, the regulator banned active and retired athletes, celebrities, and other influencers from participating in such commercials in an attempt to protect children.
AGCO’s new advertising protocols come into play on February 28, 2024. the amended Standards for Internet Gaming limit the use of celebrities, role models, social media influencers, entertainers, cartoon figures and symbols that are implied to appeal to minors. However, there is an exception in the new protocols, as these figures are allowed to promote responsible gambling efforts.
Still, gambling experts from the province believe that the limit of advertising is not enough and have called for the outright ban of betting ads and endorsements. Studies from different countries suggest that young people are vulnerable to these ads making them gamble and specialists claim those ads groom the youth into becoming life-long bettors and risk developing addictions in the future.
Source: “2022–2023 Annual Report” Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, January 2024