This week, on September 9, 2021, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has announced its final regulatory protocols for digital gaming on sports and events in the province of Ontario. Now, the recently published standards have been fully incorporated into the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, which was posted on July 14, 2021, and it will now be in motion for all sports, eSports, novelty, betting exchange, and fantasy sports offerings.
The new Standards will be taking into effect at the official launch of the province’s open iGaming market. Also, the new provisions are fully applicable to sports and event wagering of the OLG and private operators. Previously, the AGCO published a draft of the standards for industry feedback, but now the new rules are official.
New iGaming Regulations
According to the final standards, operators are now required to closely monitor betting markets for suspicious gaming activity. They must also ban insiders, such as coaches, players, athletes, and referees from betting on particular events. The operator will also have to guarantee that sport and event offerings meet certain betting requirements and are not objectionable.
There are also new provisions aiming at protecting gamblers from the province. This includes making sure that all participants can easily understand bets and odds. According to Standard 2.15.1, the method of creating bets must be straightforward and easy to comprehend. Gamblers must have information on the details before making the bet, as all selections in a bet must be visible to the participant.
Standard 4.32 states that sport and event betting operators must have risk management protocol to reduce betting integrity risks to a minimum. Examples of such risks include insider wagering and potential match-fixing. Operators must monitor and identify suspicious betting activity and report such cases of unusual activity to an independent integrity monitor.
Operators must ensure that participants in the even or league are at least 18 years old. For sporting events, the game must be overseen by a government body, which determines final rules and codes of conduct, which includes a ban on insider wagering. There must also be integrity safeguards in place to monitor the risks of match-fixing or other illicit activities. The event must not include animal cruelty.
At the end of August, the AGCO published a guide of requirements and recommendations for online gaming operators who plan on joining Ontario’s open market and apply for licenses. Operators must pay an annual fee of CA$100,000 to the commission for their license, along with cutting connections to other grey market companies before applying. Submissions can be made on the AGCO official platform, as applicants must also present legal documents and permissions.
Market of Great Potential
After the enactment of Bill C-218, which legalizes sports wagering on individual sporting events, PlayCanada has released a white paper on the country’s newly regulated offerings. According to the study, the market in its prime could reach CA$25 billion per annum, with most of the revenue coming from online sportsbooks. This would also mean CA$2 billion annually in revenue for operators.
Source: “AGCO releases final sport and event betting standards for igaming”, GlobeNewswire, September 9, 2021