The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has hit both BetMGM and PointsBet with $78,000 in fines for alleged advertising and inducement breaches.
BetMGM was issued a $48,000 penalty for a series of three tweets that the AGCO states failed to comply with standard 2.04, which stipulates ‘marketing, including advertising and promotions, shall be truthful, shall not mislead players or misrepresent products’.
Furthermore, the Entain and MGM joint venture was also found to have broken standard 2.05 for a tweet that stated “the more money you put in per bet, the higher your chance is of winning”.
This, as set out in the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, constitutes ‘advertising and marketing materials that communicate gambling inducements, bonuses and credits are prohibited, except on an operator’s gaming site and through direct advertising and marketing, after receiving active player consent’.
PointsBet Canada was penalized $30,000 for a failure to comply with standard 2.05 due to posters on GO trains as well as at two stations that contained an inducement to play for free, which were seen on April 4 and April 17, 2022.
On April 25, AGCO issued a reminder to all licensed operators on advertising and marketing standards, which outlined ‘“public advertising of inducements, bonuses and credits is strictly prohibited, including targeted advertising and algorithm-based ads’.
Tom Mungham, CEO and Registrar at the AGCO, commented: “The AGCO holds all registered operators to high standards of responsible gambling, player protection and game integrity, and monitors their activities to ensure they are meeting their obligations under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act and the Standards.”
A registered operator served with notice of monetary penalty by the AGCO has the right to appeal the Registrar’s action to the Licence Appeal Tribunal, which is an adjudicative tribunal independent of the AGCO and part of Tribunals Ontario