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AGCO releases final sport and event betting standards for igaming

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TORONTO, Sept. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has released the final regulatory standards for internet gaming-based sport and event betting in Ontario. The sport and event betting standards have been fully incorporated into the existing Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, originally published on July 14, 2021 and will apply to all sports, esports, novelty, betting exchange, and fantasy sports products.

The Standards (including the sport and event betting revisions) will take effect at the launch of the open igaming market and are fully applicable to the sport and event betting offerings of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation as well as to those of private operators.

The AGCO published draft sport and event betting standards for industry feedback earlier this summer. They were primarily developed to address the expanded menu of sport and event betting options made available by the legalization of single-event sports betting in Canada and to minimize the potential for betting markets to be compromised through activities such as insider betting or game manipulation. The standards:

  • Require operators to actively monitor the betting markets for suspicious betting activity
  • Prohibit insiders, including coaches, athletes and referees, from betting on certain events
  • Ensure sport and event offerings meet acceptable betting criteria and are not objectionable

Some examples of standards that protect Ontarians include:

  • Ensuring players can easily understand bets and odds.
    • Standard 2.15.1 The method of making bets in sport and event betting must be straightforward and understandable. Information must be made available so that the player is clearly informed of the details of the bet prior to making the bet. All selections in a bet must be displayed to the player.
  • Legitimate data sources will be used in determining the outcome of a bet.
    • Standard 2.15.3 Reputable and legitimate data source(s) must be used to determine the outcome of the bet. These data source(s) shall be made available to the player upon request.
  • Ensuring suspicious activity is identified and potential harm is reduced.
    • Standard 4.32 Sport and event betting operators shall have risk management measures in place to mitigate the betting integrity risks associated with sport and event betting, including insider betting and event manipulation.
    • Standard 4.32.3 Operators shall establish controls to identify unusual or suspicious betting activity and report such activity to an independent integrity monitor.
  • Standards protect players and game integrity, requiring operators meet specific criteria including: 
    • Standard 4.34 Operators offering sport and event betting products shall ensure that all bets offered meet the following criteria: 
      • 4. The majority of participants in the event or league are 18 years of age or older.
      • 5. For sporting events being bet on, the event must be effectively supervised by a sport governing body which must, at minimum, prescribe final rules and enforces codes of conduct that include prohibitions on betting by insiders.
      • 6. There are integrity safeguards in place which are sufficient to mitigate the risk of match-fixing, cheat-at-play, and other illicit activity that might influence the outcome of bet upon events.
      • 8.The bet is not reasonably objectionable.
      • 9. The event being bet on does not involve animal fighting or cruelty.
      • 10. Bets on assets and financial markets (e.g., stocks, bonds, currencies, real property) are prohibited.
  • Advertising cannot be misleading:
    • Standard 2.04 Marketing, including advertising and promotions, shall be truthful, shall not mislead players or misrepresent products.

These standards support the Government of Ontario’s objectives of providing consumer protection, supporting the growth of the legal market, generating provincial revenues, and reducing red tape.

Quotes

“The sport and event betting standards the AGCO has released are a critical piece of Ontario’s regulatory framework. They require gaming operators to maintain strong controls over the integrity of their offerings and give confidence to Ontarians when they place their bets.”
Tom Mungham, Chief Executive Officer, AGCO

Additional Resources

Media Contact

AGCO Media
media@agco.ca
416-326-3202

About the AGCO

The AGCO is responsible for regulating the alcohol, gaming, horse racing and private cannabis retail sectors in Ontario in accordance with the principles of honesty and integrity, and in the public interest.

The AGCO is a regulatory agency with a governing board that reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General. The agency was established on February 23, 1998 under the Alcohol, Cannabis and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996

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