Canada’s gambling industry is thriving and statistics show that around 25 percent of the country’s population would gamble weekly. The country allows the operations of gambling companies within the country as long as they are licensed by the government. However, when it comes to online gambling activities, things are still in the grey area.
No law prohibits Canadians from gambling on the internet. However, what’s illegal is the operations of gambling companies within the country. This is unless the government has given them a license to do so. Still, some of the best Canadian online casinos are based offshore, and offering their services to the locals is not illegal.
Canada’s iGaming industry has gross sales amounting to $31 billion, and with how big and popular online gambling is in the country, it is just appropriate for the government to ensure the safety of their people. Now, territories and/or provinces in Canada have committees in charge of regulating such activities, and in Ontario, it is Ontario iGaming.
More About Ontario iGaming
Ontario iGaming is a government agency that is responsible for conducting and managing online gaming activities from private operators within the province. This committee is fairly new as it was only formed last month as a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario or the AGCO.
It is formed to ensure that gaming operators offering their services in the province meet the rigorous standards of gaming. Operators are expected to be fair, protective of their players, and responsible. iGaming Ontario’s goal is to establish a safe, open, and competitive online gaming market including real money gaming.
For now, only the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation are allowed to offer their services to the locals. This leaves not so many options for the locals right now and so, while waiting, they can still play on online casinos for Canada that are based offshore.
However, the establishment of this committee proves that the province is getting ready to change this and possibly allow more operators to get into the market. Some are hopeful that this will be the case before the year ends.
Ontario iGaming Set Rules Regarding Online Gambling in the Province
When this committee was launched, a set of rules regarding online gambling was also released including a ban on auto-play on slot machine games and only allowing a minimum spin speed of 2.5 seconds. The rules state, “A player should commit to each game individually, releasing and depressing the ‘start button’ or taking equivalent action.
Aside from this, split-screen or multi-screen slot play will also be banned. According to them, the games should not give the players an impression that skill or speed of play can affect the results of their play. Losses disguised as wins will also not be allowed. This means that if a player wins less than what they bet, the game shouldn’t make them feel like they won through animations and winning sound effects.
It is also required that the games will show players real currency instead of credits. This way, players get to see how much they have already been spending on the game easily. Players should also be allowed to set limits on their gaming account deposits.
When it comes to advertising, the materials shouldn’t have themes nor use any language that could be appealing to minors. No real or fictional characters that could appeal to minors should be involved in the ad. Any gambling advertisement shouldn’t be placed near schools and should not mislead and suggest that gambling is a path that they can take for financial success or stability.
According to the rules, “Gambling ads must also not “exploit the susceptibilities, aspirations, credulity, inexperience or lack of knowledge of all potentially high-risk persons, or otherwise extoll the virtues of gaming” or “entice or attract potentially high-risk players.”
Gambling operators should also be responsible for letting their customers know the risks of gambling and they should also give options like self-exclusion. The policies that they have must also include responsible gambling training. Anti-money laundering checks should also be performed by the operators.
The AGCO’s criteria on online betting are that the bet should not be reasonably objectionable and should not involve animal cruelty as this is illegal. The AGCO standards regarding this state, “Bets on events which are unethical, allow entertainment to be derived from human suffering or death, or involve non-consensual violence or injury are examples of bets which would be considered to be reasonably objectionable.”
Ontario locals are looking forward to what all these would do once there are already more online gambling options locally available. What’s great is that the criteria set in Ontario would allow other gambling activities too that involve daily fantasy sports and esports.