iGaming Ontario Turns One – The Province Got You a Thriving Market & Proposed Amendments to AGCO Standards

Last week marked the first birthday of regulated iGaming in Ontario and the celebrations kicked off at a sold-out summit hosted by the Canadian Gaming Association. The mood was bright and for good reason – this booming new sector comprised of more than 40 licensed operators, has brought in an estimated $35.6 billion in total wagers and about $1.4 billion in total gaming revenue in its first year ranking Ontario among the top 5 iGaming jurisdictions in North America.  

According to a recent study conducted by Ipsos and the AGCO, 85.3% of respondents who have gambled online in Ontario in the past three months, placed wagers on regulated iGaming properties. This is good news for the AGCO as the once thriving grey market which accounted for 70% of online gambling, has now been notably diminished. 

Gaming is here to stay and to better understand the market dynamics, we will be hosting a IAB Canada iGaming Working Group session with special guests Mediabrands who will be presenting their study “Navigating Chaos: Ontario’s Online Gambling Market”, diving into the category and discussing key strategies for brands to attract new users and keep current ones.  

With growth comes responsibility and it appears that during this inaugural year, Ontario’s regulators reflected on internet gambling Advertising Standards focusing on minimizing potential harm to youth and children. Today they announced proposed changes to prohibit the use of athletes as well as celebrities “that can reasonably be expected to appeal to children and youth” from internet gambling advertising and marketing in Ontario. 

The proposed amended standard will: 

  1. Create an obligation for operators and suppliers to cease any advertising and marketing activities that use athletes, whether active or retired, in gaming marketing and advertising; and, 
  1. Prohibit the use of cartoon figures, symbols, role models, social media influencers, celebrities or entertainers who are reasonably expected to appeal to minors. This proposed amendment differs from the current standard, which is applicable to persons that “primarily appeal” to minors.  Advertising remains a permitted activity, provided other Standards are met. 

The AGCO is looking for stakeholder feedback by May 8th. You can find more information on this engagement opportunity in our iGaming Resource Centre and if you would like to join the IAB Canada iGaming working group reach out to policy@iabcanada.com