July 1, 2024 2 min read


Fact-checked by Angel Hristov

AGCO Tells Ontario Arena to Remove Betting Ads Targeting Minors

Some believe that the AGCO should issue province-wide communications each time a correction is needed

The Canlan Sports arena in Ontario has removed gambling ads following complaints by a concerned father and an advocacy group, and a review by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). This has sparked activism for the removal of gambling ads from sporting facilities predominantly used by minors.

The Canlan Sports arena used to advertise the products of theScore Bet, an operator offering wagers on sports. However, the advertisement was eventually noticed by Timothy Dewhirst, the father of a 13-year-old hockey player from Guelph.

Dewhirst, a researcher at the University of Guelph and an expert in the effects of tobacco and cannabis advertising, was deeply concerned by the ad, which caught his attention upon entering the arena. He noted that the gambling company logo was ubiquitous and impossible to miss.

Dewhirst was outraged that gambling was being promoted at an under-14 hockey tournament, believing that the ads targeted minors.

The matter was eventually analyzed by the Ban Ads for Gambling advocacy group, which filed a complaint to the AGCO.

The Ad Was Inappropriate, the AGCO Says

The AGCO eventually agreed that the ad was inappropriate for the arena considering that it is predominantly used by minors.

There is a requirement that iGaming ads shall not appear in media or venues where most of the audience is reasonably expected to be minors — such as local arenas.

AGCO statement

The AGCO concluded that theScore Bet’s ads at the Canlan Sports arena were a possible violation of Policy 2.03 of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming. The policy, for context, states that advertisers should not target minors or vulnerable groups with gambling ads. Additionally, such ads should not appear in media and venues directed primarily to minors.

Bruce Kidd, founder of Ban Ads for Gambling, said that he hopes that local operators will “get the message” that gambling ads are “completely inappropriate” in sports facilities where children play.

After the AGCO contacted the Canlan Sports arena, the latter removed the controversial ads. However, the arena did not release a public statement on the matter, sparking concerns among anti-gambling activists.

Some believe that the AGCO should issue province-wide communications each time a correction is needed.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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