May 31, 2023 3 min read


OLG CEO Agrees Gambling Ads Need to Be Trimmed Down

Ontarians may be exposed to too much betting and gambling advertisement according to recent research and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp’s (OLG) chief executive

The Canadian province has seen an inundation of betting messages and ads trying to elicit a response from sports fans, with many succeeding. However, according to OLG CEO Duncan Hannay, this has to be tampered with a bit.

Gambling Advertisement in Ontario and Its Proliferation

Hannay spoke to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts earlier this week, explaining that there was too much advertising for legal sports betting going on. He argued that there were as many as 47 new legal operators and urged for a better balance of advertising. Hannay said:

I know that’s how the regulator is looking at this issue and reviewing input from stakeholders across the province, within the operator community, with outside interests, with public health organizations, and from OLG.

OLG CEO Duncan Hannay

France Gélinas, a Member of the Provincial Parliament, used the hearing session to criticize the proliferation of betting ads, arguing that children these days knew more about iGaming than the lawmaker did. Ontarians have already been speaking up against the number of gambling advertisements they see as a bit too much.

Meanwhile, private gambling companies saw more than $35 billion placed in wagers and collected $1.4 billion in gross revenue in the first year of operation. New companies are particularly determined to get their names out there, with brands such as DraftKings and FanDuel, and overseas companies, such as bet365, making sure that their ads are seen.

This comes at a time when the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is in the process of reviewing the existing advertising rules – some proposals want to see celebrities and athletes completely prohibited from serving as ambassadors for betting brands and especially appearing on ads.

Hannay agrees that the use of celebrity endorsements may not be optimal and that AGCO is indeed looking to beef up the standards in the industry, drawing parallels not least with European jurisdictions that have been addressing the matter rapidly.

OLG Needs to Find Ways to Be Competitive

At the same time, OLG remains one of the biggest contributors to the provincial government’s tax coffers in Ontario, having provided more than the private sector has in its first year of operation.

OLG may need to stay competitive against a growing field of competitors by introducing new products and opportunities to add more real-time games but also use its good standing in the lottery vertical to convert players to the iGaming vertical as well.

The committee hearing touched on both advertisement and OLG’s own future in a rapidly changing and evolving gambling landscape in Ontario, with recent research confirming that there may be too much of both.


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 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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