Ontario Regulator Fines BetMGM and PointsBet over Marketing Violations
Published: May 6, 2022
After two Canadian online casinos violated advertising and inducement regulations, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario handed fines to BetMGM and PointsBet.
BetMGM‘s Canada arm will have to pay $48,000 for breaching two internet gaming standards (Standards 2.04 and 2.05). PointsBet Canada, on the other hand, has been issued a penalty of $30,000 for failing to comply with Standard 2.05.
Standard 2.04 states that all operators’ advertising, marketing, and promotional activities must be truthful and not misleading. Standard 2.05 bans marketing and advertising material that communicate bonuses and credits (or other gambling inducements) unless the players explicitly agree to it.
The Standards were announced in September last year, before Ontario launched its regulated online market on April 4.
According to the AGCO, BetMGM Canada was flagged for running a $250,000 Launch Party ad, first posted on April 4 and then a week later.
The operator also ran a Bellagio ad, which initially ran on April 4, and again on April 6 and 8. BetMGM Canada posted a Jimi Hendrix Free Spins Friday ad on April 8. All of these cases were regarded as violations of Standard 2.05.
BetMGM Canada breached Standard 2.04 after posting a tweet on April 4, stating, “the more money you put in per bet, the higher your chance is of winning”.
On the other hand, PointsBet Canada was fined for two breaches of Standard 2.05. The first one was between April 4 and April 21, due to posters with a play for free inducement. In addition to this, more posters were placed between April 4 and April 17.
Both operators can appeal the AGCO decision to the Licence Appeal Tribunal.
Tom Mungham, Chief Executive Officer at the AGCO, stated:
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 under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act and the Standards.