Wednesday, September 28, 2022

AGCO issues CA 100 000 in monetary penalties to DraftKings Canada

DraftKings Canada has been fined CA$100,000 (US$77,432) for breaching Ontario’s rules on advertising and inducements.

According to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the operator breached the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, specifically Standard 2.05.

This prohibits companies from distributing “advertising and marketing materials that communicate gambling inducements, bonuses and credits” anywhere other than their own websites or directly to customers, but only after receiving “active player consent.”

However, contrary to this rule, DraftKings posted or aired multiple “broad gambling inducements,” including a promotion of boosted 2:1 odds.

This was distributed widely via television and social media channels, said the AGCO, despite Ontario’s prohibition of such advertisements.

The Standards exist to protect Ontarians, added the regulator, remarking: “Ontario strictly prohibits broad public advertising of bonuses and other gambling inducements.”

Tom Mungham, the regulator’s CEO and Registrar, said: “The AGCO will continue to monitor the activities of all registered operators and hold them to high standards of responsible gambling, player protection and game integrity.

“It is in the public interest that we ensure they are meeting their obligations under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act and the Standards.”

DraftKings, like all registered operators, may lodge an appeal with the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT), an adjudicative body independent of the AGCO.

This also isn’t the first fine issued to an operator in Ontario’s newly regulated iGaming market. Other recipients include BetMGM Canada and PointsBet, who were in early May fined CA$48,000 and CA$30,000 respectively.

Like DraftKings, the AGCO cited breaches of Standard 2.05 when issuing BetMGM Canada and PointsBet notices of monetary penalty.

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