March 29, 2024 3 min read


NHL Star McDavid Becomes Advocate for Responsible Gaming in Ontario

Previously, the recognizable hockey player participated together with Wayne Gretzky in another BetMGM brand advertisement

Late last month, the gambling regulator in Ontario, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), implemented a ban on the use of celebrity imagery in gambling advertisements. The regulatory change follows best practices implemented in other major markets across the globe, including Europe, and seeks to safeguard consumers from excessive gambling and curb the rate of problem gambling across the province.

Since opening its online gambling sector a couple of years ago, Ontario proved to be a major market for North America. But while previously, celebrities participated in different gambling marketing campaigns, the latest changes effectively put an end to this practice.

However, a sole exception is made to the current rules that allow the use of social media influencers, celebrities and other people in the entertainment sector to participate in ads that promote responsible gambling. Following strictly Ontario’s new regulations, BetMGM, the leading iGaming and betting operator, announced the launch of a new responsible gaming tools ad earlier this month, featuring the recognizable National Hockey League star, Connor McDavid.

Upon confirming he will participate in the responsible gaming ad, the hockey star took it to his Instagram and wrote that its message is “all about being responsible if you choose to bet – staying in control and not getting carried away.” Additionally, McDavid pointed out: “That’s super important to me. And I really hope it’s advice that everyone follows.”

Even If Promoting Responsible Tools, an Advertisement Still Raises Brand Awareness

The aforementioned ad comes after a few years ago, McDavid, together with Wayne Gretzky, participated in another BetMGM advertisement. In contrast to the most recent ad, the previous BetMGM spot promoted the company’s services just in time for the National Hockey League season at the time.

While the latest ad, promoting responsible gaming tools is in line with the regulations, it drew skepticism among industry observers. Andrew Kim, a University of Calgary psychology associate professor, who was recently quoted by CBC News, said that the new advertisement still helps raise brand awareness. “You associate Connor McDavid with their site,” explained the expert who happens to be a sports aficionado himself.

Recently, a survey revealed that an overwhelming majority of Canadians support a ban on sports betting ads. The survey was conducted by Maru Public Opinion, collecting the responses of 1,534 Canadian adults during February.

The results pointed out that 68% of the respondents showed support for the implementation of a ban on the use of celebrities and current team players for sports betting advertisements. Additionally, 59% of the respondents supported the need for an urgent ban on sports betting ads across the country.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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