AGCO bans athletes and celebrities from gambling ads

    The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is putting forward a prohibition of gambling ads that include athletes and celebrities, so it will protect vulnerable categories like children from getting into online gambling. Advertising related to online gaming has increased exponentially since Ontario regulated its online casino and sportsbook market in April 2022, and authorities want to rein it in.

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    The announcement was made in a press release, and the prohibition will go into effect on February 28, 2024. The new rules are the culmination of many discussions that took place, so the regulators were able to protect kids from gambling exposure.

    Which are the details of the new restrictions

    A series of celebrities, like singers, actors, social media influencers, cartoon figures, symbols, and other role models, are completely restricted from taking part in gambling ads. The rules also include active and retired athletes. The only exception will be athletes who want to promote responsible gaming. However, the volume and the style of the ads will not change, at least not at the moment.

    According to the AGCO, "Following the first year of Ontario’s open, regulated iGaming market, the AGCO identified advertising and marketing approaches that use athletes, as well as celebrities with an appeal to minors, as a potential harm to those under the legal gaming age and is taking this step to reduce the risk."

    What lies ahead for the igaming market in Ontario

    The Ontario igaming market is booming, and that is expected to continue. In the first quarter of 2023, locals placed a total of C$2 billion in wagers. That translated to C$542 million in gaming revenue and a total online betting volume of C$14 billion. Moreover, the market regulation has created more than 10,000 jobs, with 1,800 of them being direct, with an annual compensation of C$103,000.

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