BetMGM and PointsBet hit with first regulatory fines in Ontario

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BetMGM and PointsBet have been struck with financial penalties for failing to comply with advertising standards as set out by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

The two operators are the first to fall foul of province regulation, which came into force on 4 April to coincide with the launch date of Ontario’s newly regulated iGaming market.

Ontario’s iGaming legislation prohibits broad public advertising of bonuses and other inducements to gamble.

BetMGM has been instructed to pay C$48,000 for failing to comply with those marketing standards, while PointsBet’s penalty stands at C$30,000.

AGCO has published four alleged breaches by BetMGM Canada, including a launch party contest where the winner receives C$100,000 in casino bonuses.

AGCO CEO and registrar Tom Mungham: “The AGCO holds all registered operators to high standards of responsible gambling, player protection and game integrity.”

The operator also published a tweet on 10 April that said: “The more money you put in per bet, the higher your chance is of winning.”

PointsBet, meanwhile, posted physical posters at train stations which included an inducement to gamble for free on its related betting and gaming websites.

All breaches listed above fell foul of marketing and advertising standards 2:04 or 2:05.

Rule 2:04 dictates that all operator marketing, advertising and promotional activity must be truthful and must not mislead players or misrepresent products.

Rule 2:05 says advertising and marketing materials that communicate gambling inducements, bonuses and credits are prohibited, except on an operator’s gaming site and through direct advertising and marketing, after receiving active player consent.

AGCO CEO Tom Mungham said: “The AGCO holds all registered operators to high standards of responsible gambling, player protection and game integrity, and monitors their activities to ensure they are meeting their obligations.”

Both operators have the right to appeal the fine at the Licence Appeal Tribunal.

About the author

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Jake Evans

Jake Evans is an NCTJ-accredited journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and sports betting industry since 2017. He is the managing editor of iGaming NEXT and has previously worked in both content and data for EGR, Stats Perform and Football Radar.

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