Internet Gaming

What Marketers Need to Know

To participate in Ontario’s legal internet gaming (iGaming) market, iGaming operators and suppliers need to be registered with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) – one of two regulatory agencies that are responsible for gaming activities in Ontario, whether they are brick-and-mortar locations or online. The other regulatory agency is iGaming Ontario (iGO) – a subsidiary of the AGCO.

Anyone wanting to be active in this space must comply with the AGCO’s Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, and iGaming Ontario’s Marketing and Advertising Policy.

A key priority for the regulators is responsible gaming, which means, among other things, that gaming should not be promoted as anything other than entertainment. Since the regulated market in Ontario is new, changes are anticipated as the sector evolves. Some fundamentals however will not change – the need to ensure that marketing and advertising are carried out in a responsible manner and are not misleading.

The CMA, through our iGaming Committee, will keep members informed of developments in this area. Members can access resources  to stay informed and compliant.

Key aspects of the Registrar’s Standards and iGO’s policy are summarized below:

  • Advertising must follow the responsible gambling requirements; this includes running dedicated campaigns that educate Ontarians about responsible gambling and provide resources for help. Operators must report on these campaigns every 6 months.
  • The official iGO logo must be displayed on all platforms including websites, social media and paid visual media ads.
  • iGO’s policy is that marketing and advertising may only be directed to Ontarians, so careful consideration should be given to placements and any marketing and advertising that could be seen by individuals outside of Ontario should clearly state only available to people physically in Ontario. It’s also important to note that direct marketing should not target self-excluded or ineligible individuals in Ontario.
  • One of the Registrar’s Standards requires that operators ensure that its non-gaming-related suppliers do not provide services for a grey market operator in Ontario.

In-depth information and commentary about what marketers need to know about iGaming marketing and advertising can be found in the CMA guide.

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