The Alcohol and Gaming Commission in Ontario created iGaming Ontario which was tasked with regulating the iGaming market that is set to roll out later on this year. Reportedly, the new gambling watchdog released new rules affecting gambling ads, as well as online slot games.
Ontario’s New Gambling Watchdog Rolls Out iGaming Rules
Earlier this month, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced the creation of iGaming Ontario, a subsidiary tasked with regulating online gambling, for the largest province in Canada. Officially, the new watchdog is tasked to “conduct and manage” the iGaming activities in the province, which market is set to launch by the end of the year.
The creation of the new watchdog doesn’t come unexpectedly, considering that studies have previously estimated that the online gaming market in Ontario is valued at $833 million annually. Approximately 70% of that amount was spent via the black market and unregulated sites. This will likely soon change, considering the creation of iGaming Ontario.
Less than two weeks after the creation of iGaming Ontario, the watchdog has revealed new rules affecting online gambling, per an announcement on the AGCO website. The new rules affect the marketing of online gambling, split-screen games, as well as the speed of play for online slots.
More Details Regarding the New iGaming Rules
Under the new rules, marketing campaigns and gambling ads must not appeal to minors, which is a practice adopted by other countries such as the UK. Additionally, those campaigns must not be presented within school areas or include any characters that may appeal to minors.
Most importantly, the new rules set a limit for online slots, ensuring that a minimum of 2.5 seconds is available between each spin. Auto-play or fast spin features are also prohibited under the new rules. This is because, according to the rules, players “should commit to each game individually, releasing and then depressing the ‘start button’ or taking equivalent action.“
Other than that, LDWs (losses disguised as wins), which is when players win less money than they have bet, are prohibited under the new rules. Any split-screen options or multi-screen play for slots is not allowed, either. Games also must not imply that speed or skill can affect the outcome. The new rules adhere that the player’s balance must always appear in CA$ instead of “credits.”
Last but not least, all gambling operators must conduct anti-money laundering (AML) checks and provide options for self-exclusion and information on gambling harms. Focusing once again on gambling ads, the new rules restrict operators from targeting high-risk players.