August 30, 2023 3 min read


AGCO Bans Athletes and Celebrities from Ontario’s iGaming Ads

The decision follows AGCO's meticulous observation of the first year of Ontario's regulated iGaming market

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has introduced a game-changing update to the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, signaling a significant step in shielding minors from the influence of online gambling advertising. The amendment, set to take effect on February 28, 2024, imposes a ban on the use of athletes and influential celebrities in internet gaming (iGaming) advertisements across Ontario.

AGCO’s Measures to Safeguard Minors from Influential iGaming Ads

In the inaugural year following the initiation of Ontario’s regulated iGaming market, AGCO identified advertising tactics that harnessed the influence of athletes and celebrities to captivate a younger demographic, thereby posing a potential hazard to individuals below the legal gaming age. The move is thus intended to curtail this risk and contribute to the safeguarding of minors.

In April of 2023, AGCO initiated comprehensive consultations on its proposal to prohibit the utilization of these advertising methods. The consultations drew input from a diverse array of stakeholders, encompassing mental health and public health organizations, responsible gambling experts, gaming operators, marketing conglomerates, and the general public. The consensus from these consultations galvanized AGCO to act, resulting in the decision to bar the use of athletes and tighten the reins on celebrity endorsements that might appeal to minors.

Additionally, in June Canadian Senator Marty Deacon called for legislation to regulate sports betting advertising, aiming to curb the exposure of Canadians to these ads and mitigate potential gambling addictions, particularly among youth. 

AGCO’s Outgoing CEO Champions Youth Protection

Tom Mungham, AGCO’s outgoing Registrar and CEO, emphasized the motivation behind this pivotal decision:

Children and youth are heavily influenced by the athletes and celebrities they look up to. We’re therefore increasing measures to protect Ontario’s youth by disallowing the use of these influential figures to promote online betting in Ontario.

Tom Mungham, outgoing Registrar and CEO, AGCO

Under the revised standards, registered iGaming operators in Ontario will be precluded from incorporating athletes, active or retired, into their advertising and marketing efforts. The only exception is when such athletes exclusively advocate for responsible gambling practices. 

The new regulations also extend their reach to encompass celebrities, role models, social media influencers, entertainers, cartoon characters, and symbols that are likely to resonate with minors. This amplification of the existing standard signifies a broader commitment to keeping content away from youngsters that is intended to have a primary appeal to minors. In conjunction with this announcement, AGCO has also pledged to offer supplementary guidance in the coming weeks.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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