The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has recently been awarded the Excellence in Gaming Regulation Award by the North American Gaming Regulators Association (NAGRA). This accolade recognizes AGCO’s outstanding role in developing and implementing the regulatory framework for Ontario’s flourishing iGaming market.
Between April 2022 and April 2023, Ontario sports betting and casino operators reported total revenues of $1.4 billion. This impressive figure highlights the success of the province’s iGaming market and the effectiveness of AGCO’s regulatory efforts.
Collaborative Effort Leads to Success in Ontario’s iGaming Market
The AGCO acknowledges that the NAGRA award represents a true team effort. Maintaining a province’s iGaming market requires collaboration among various stakeholders, including government officials, iGaming Ontario, operators, suppliers, and industry representatives.
AGCO registrar and CEO Tom Mungham highlighted the significant progress made in player protection and the shift from unregulated to regulated sites. He stated, “In just one year, we went from an estimated 70% of online gambling occurring on unregulated sites to over 85 per cent of respondents to a recent survey saying they’ve gambled on regulated sites.”
Mungham also noted that Ontario consumers now have access to over 45 registered operators, 75 sites, and more than 5,000 certified games within the regulated sector.
Mungham praised Attorney General Doug Downey for his strong government leadership throughout the regulation process. Downey reciprocated the commendation, expressing pride in working with AGCO to build a safe, legal, and competitive marketplace that fosters innovation, creates jobs, and offers protection and choice for players.
AGCO’s Commitment to Excellence and Improvement
The AGCO’s recent NAGRA award win, along with the International Association of Gaming Regulators’ Regulatory Excellence Award received last October in Melbourne, Australia, demonstrates the regulator’s dedication to excellence in gaming policy.
As the AGCO continues to garner international recognition, it remains committed to enhancing its offerings. In recent months, the regulator has taken a firm stance against the current state of Canadian sports betting advertisements, considering a ban on celebrities and athletes appearing in sportsbook operator ads. An official decision is anticipated this week.
Furthermore, Canadian Senator Marty Deacon introduced Bill S-269 last week, proposing a national framework for sports betting ads. If passed, the Canadian heritage minister would be required to investigate ways to restrict these advertisements.
International Recognition for AGCO’s iGaming Regulatory Framework
The AGCO’s recent NAGRA award win is not the first time the organization has received international recognition for its work in the iGaming industry. In October 2022, the commission was awarded the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) Regulatory Excellence Award.
These accolades underscore the commission’s commitment to developing and implementing a strong, responsible internet gaming model that provides consumer choice, protects players, and supports legal market growth.
Collaboration with Ministries of the Attorney General and Finance
The commission worked closely with a large team led by Ontario’s Ministries of the Attorney General and Finance to develop the regulatory framework for Ontario’s iGaming market. This collaboration was instrumental in the successful launch of the open and competitive internet gaming market in April 2022.
In addition, the Ministry of the Attorney General has expressed pride in working with AGCO to build a safe, legal, and competitive new marketplace that drives innovation, creates jobs, and provides protection and choice for players. This is truly a great era for the igaming industry in Ontario.
Praise from NAGRA President and Voting Committee Member
Jennifer LaMont, NAGRA President and voting committee member, congratulated AGCO for its Excellence in Gaming Award win, stating, “The detailed information provided in the nomination about the commission’s work to develop and implement a regulatory framework for Ontario’s new iGaming market was clearly a collaborative effort that required skill, commitment, and teamwork from the staff team.”