April 29, 2024 3 min read

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Ontario Sports Betting Ads Broadcast across Canada

While some operators hold a license to operate only in Ontario, they currently advertise their products across the country

This April marked the two-year anniversary of the launch of the regulated online gambling market in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. The flourishing market proved its potential over the last two years, going from strength to strength and expanding the offering for customers in the province.

Currently, there are more than 70 licensed gambling operators in Ontario. The opening of the market in the province enabled operators which offered their services without a license to secure such authorization. After securing a license, the gambling operators were also permitted to advertise their services legally.

Now, a newly released report warned about a concerning trend that involves the bombardment of Canadians with gambling ads in markets where there’s no regulation established or where the gambling operators do not hold a license. As reported by CBC, Canadians across the country are subject to gambling ads about platforms that hold licenses in Ontario.

The peculiar occurrence is quite contradictory considering that if a betting or iGaming operator holds a license in Ontario, this doesn’t mean that they are permitted to offer such services in other provinces. Yet, according to Marie-Noëlle Savoie, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) chief compliance officer and Canadian Lottery Coalition spokesperson, some gambling operators that hold an Ontario license only, offer their services in other provinces across the country.

Advertising Nationwide, While Holding Ontario-Only License

The spokesperson for the Coalition explained that it continues to fight the illegal offering of platforms in different provinces. Moreover, Savoie urged for changes, especially for the gambling advertisements. She said that while some operators hold an Ontario-only gambling license, their ads can be seen across Canada. To further exacerbate the issue, she said that some platforms accept customers from provinces outside Ontario.

We are in a fight with people that are operating illegally in our provinces. We’re obviously not very happy about it.

Marie-Noëlle Savoie, spokesperson for the Canadian Lottery Coalition

The nationwide advertising, according to Savoie, is the result of advertisement packages that are purchased “if you buy in Ontario, you get Canada.” This otherwise enables the gambling operators to advertise their products in jurisdictions where they are not licensed. Savoie added: “It’s not ideal when you have competitors, but they’re actually not competitors in your market, showing up as if they are competitors.”

Last month, a new survey conducted by Maru Public Opinion highlighted the discontent of Canadians for sports betting ads. An overwhelming majority of 68% of the survey’s participants supported the prohibition of endorsements of gambling companies by celebrities and sports teams. Similarly, 66% of the interviewed encouraged the idea of a betting ban prohibition during live sports events, while 59% of the respondents supported the idea of a nationwide ban on gambling ads.

Journalist

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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