Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)
Ontario Gaming Commission was founded in 1998, the AGCO is the administrator of the Ontario Gaming Control Act, which includes Ontario’s online casinos, as well as other functions such as lottery, horse racing and liquor licensing. The same commission also regulates the use of recreational cannabis. The agency’s primary mission is to protect the public interest of entities involved in iGaming, alcohol and horse racing.
Over the past decade, there has been a global reshaping of the iGaming industry. We have seen this in Australia, the UK and Germany to name a few, and in Canada, Ontario is currently seeing reorganization or restructuring of its gaming rules and regulations. One of the new player support features offered by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, also known as AGCO, is that it provides players with information on sports betting and online gaming. The player support services designed are new to Ontario and are intended to provide players with access to gaming operations that act responsibly and are of the highest integrity. The AGCO is also monitoring the marketing of iGaming products to protect self-excluded players and other vulnerable individuals such as youth, as well as to strengthen the overall legitimacy of iGaming.
A new logo has been created by Ontario iGaming and companies that have completed their registration and followed the proper procedures are legally allowed to place this logo on their website. The logo on these websites signifies that the business adheres to the highest level of oversight provided by the AGCO.
It does not mean that the OLG is superseded in any way. They still offer Internet gaming at olg.ca.
Ontario online casinos that have signed an agreement with Ontario iGaming are listed in the directory of approved and duly registered gaming companies operating in Ontario, which can be contacted at igamingontario.ca. Operators are required, within two years of signing an operating agreement, to obtain and maintain a good reputation. As in the UK, Ontario iGaming plans to implement a centralized self-exclusion program and is currently in development. Sports betting companies and online casinos that have signed an agreement with Ontario iGaming must activate their self-exclusion programs.
The purpose of most of the regulations and rules is to control the gaming companies and protect the players. The regulations still stem from 78/12 of the Gaming Control Act 1992 and this entire regulation was created to prohibit unlicensed lottery schemes. The current rules focus on how gaming companies should market their services and how to raise awareness of responsible gambling and provide transparency to players.