AGCO to ban celebrities from gambling advertising
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) plans to prohibit celebrities like athletes, singers or influencers from advertising online gambling. This proposal aims to protect minors and other vulnerable people from the potential harms of gambling. The proposed bill will deem celebrities who have an audience of underage people as unsuitable for participating in marketing or advertising online casinos and sportsbooks. The ban will also include cartoon figures, role models and symbols.
The announcement was made only a few weeks after the first anniversary of regulated gambling sites launching in Ontario. It was also made after the release of the financial results of the first year. According to the authority, the issue will be discussed with stakeholders until May 8 and then it will make a decision. Once the bill is passed the AGCO will allow for a three-month grace period before the changes are enacted.
Protecting the most vulnerable in many ways
The AGCO has taken strict measures to protect people under the legal age from gambling. Any regulated operator must only accepts players above 19 for casino and sports betting. A statement by the authority emphasised that: "Concern regarding the potential harmful impact on the most vulnerable population, underage persons, remains high.
“The AGCO is therefore proposing 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."
Will the changes impact online casinos?
Since the introduction of regulated online gambling in Ontario, casinos have used several athletes, influencers and other well-known figures to promote their business. Ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky partners with BetMGM, while Auston Matthews works with Bet99.
President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, Paul Burns stated that: "It’s virtually impossible for minors to gamble online. You can’t open an account unless you provide a piece of verified identification."
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