AGCO hits Apollo Entertainment with heavy fine over RG failures

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Apollo Entertainment has been fined CAD$100,000 ($74,322) by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for ‘multiple alleged violations’ of its responsible gaming provisions.

The Notice of Monetary Penalty is the highest the regulator meted out to a single operator this year – or at least the highest that has been publicly reported – at more than three times the amount Mobile Incorporated was fined in April for falling foul of AGCO Standards 1.22, 4.08 and 4.09.

According to the AGCO, Apollo violated the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming after failing to meet Ontario’s RG requirements on several counts, including: 

  • Failing to conduct required interventions with players who may be experiencing gambling related harms. This included the case of a player experiencing over $2m in losses in under four months without receiving interventions from the gaming site operator during that period.
  • Failing to implement an adequate voluntary self-exclusion program, as well as providing insufficient tools for players to set financial and time-based gambling limits (i.e., loss and deposit limits).
  • Failing to ensure their employees understood the importance of responsible gambling, including assisting players who may be experiencing gambling related harms.

Explaining the action taken, Tom Mungham, AGCO Registrar and CEO, said: “The AGCO’s goal is to ensure Ontarians can enjoy online gambling on sites that operate fairly, responsibly and provide important player protections.

“All registered operators have an obligation to proactively monitor patron play for signs of high-risk gambling, and must take appropriate actions to intervene and reduce the potential for gambling-related harm.”

Apollo has the right to appeal the Registrar’s action to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT), which is an adjudicative tribunal independent of the AGCO and part of Tribunals Ontario.

However, the AGCO’s statement on the matter included a note that Apollo has been ‘responsive’ to the regulatory findings since being notified of the alleged violations.

Furthermore, the operator has ‘already taken significant steps to strengthen the control environment on its sites’.

Apollo entered the Ontario market last September, receiving licenses from the AGCO for seven igaming sites:

  • Zodiac Casino
  • Yukon Gold Casino
  • Luxury Casino
  • Grand Mondial Casino
  • Casino Classic
  • Captain-Cooks Casino
  • Golden Tiger Casino

Canadian Gaming Business reached out to the AGCO to ascertain which of the sites operated by Apollo had fallen foul of its standards, but was simply told that “the violations were against the operator, Apollo Entertainment Ltd.”

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