I live in Ontario and have been doing a lot of research on the new regulations that have been applicable since April 3rd. I wanted to share some of my learnings with you in case you want to target Ontario.
There are 68 online gambling brands (as of now) that have their Ontario license and are regulated by the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario). All of these brands come from 36 operators, and some of them are Canadian companies.
Marketing activity in Ontario is subject to a comprehensive regulatory regime (Standards & Policies) and must always be conducted in a compliant and socially responsible manner.
Here is a list of all of these standards and policies:
- AGCO Standards
- iGO Standards Marketing & Advertising Conditions
- iGO Brand Guide Policy
- Canadian Code of Advertising standards
- Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)
- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act Ontario (FIPPA)
- Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
- Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Unsolicited Telecommunication rules
Affiliates who want to promote an Ontario casino/sportsbook licensed brand will need to make changes to their site in order to be compliant. Here are some of them:
- Only Ontario regulated casinos/sportsbook must be displayed on the website/page.
- Communications that induce, bonuses and credits are prohibited.
- Content must be accurate and truthful.
- The website’s content should not target underage, self-excluded or high-risk individuals.
- Links to Responsible Gaming sources for Ontario (i.e., ConnexOntario) should be included.
- An image of +19 must be visible and accurate on the site.
- A copy line indicating the allowed age to play in Ontario must be included on all marketing and advertising materials.
- The iGO logo guidelines must be followed: Visible in size, correctly and not implying a joint venture, sponsoring, co-organizing or a collaborator.
- The iGO Brand standards must be followed (No white/black design).
- Content must not have life-changing terms or promote guarantees on advertisements.
- Content must not appeal to minors, exploit superstitions or play upon fears to mislead the reader.
- Content should not imitate the content/illustrations from another Affiliate’s website.
AGCO has developed these rules to promote responsible gambling and protect minors, vulnerable people, and self-excluded players.
It might sound a bit difficult to make these changes, but it’s not impossible. I have seen affiliates making these adjustments to their sites accordingly and able to promote regulated Ontario brands.
The popularity of online gambling has greatly increased in Ontario since April 2022. Many popular radio stations are advertising online casinos and sportsbooks. This is also true for TV commercials and outdoor advertisements. Some people are mistaken and believe that these advertisements are from the provincial government. Here is an interesting article on people’s perceptions in Ontario: https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/how-much-too-much-nearly-half-canadians-think-gambling-ads-have-gotten-out-hand
If you are planning to target Ontario, we might be able to help.