Ontario Considering Restrictions on Gambling Advertisements

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Since the launch of the regulated gambling market in Ontario, there has been a huge increase in gambling advertisements. Now Duncan Hannay, the chief executive of Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp, says that it has become too much.

Hannay was addressing the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts this week when he said that he believes there is too much advertising of legal sports betting taking place. He said that there are 47 new legal operators, which has resulted in an inundation of adverts.

I know that’s how the regulator is looking at this issue and reviewing input from stakeholders across the province, within the operator community, with outside interests, with public health organizations, and from OLG.

Duncan HannayOLG CEO

The level of betting adverts was also criticized by France Gélinas, a Member of the Provincial Parliament. In particular, she highlighted that children were being exposed to the adverts.

Clearly, the advertising works with more than $35 billion placed in wagers and $1.4 billion collected in cross revenue in the market’s first year. A number of big name operators, such as DraftKings, FanDuel and bet365, have invested heavily in advertising, ensuring that Ontarians are aware of their existence.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is currently reviewing the advertising rules. In particular, they are looking at whether celebrities and athletes should be able to serve as ambassadors for betting companies and appear in adverts. Hannay has also said that celebrity endorsements need to be carefully considered and that standards need to be raised.

While the OLG has remained one of the largest tax pays in Ontario, paying more tax than the private sector in its first year of operation, it will still need to find new ways to stay competitive. This may mean introducing new products and real-time games and finding ways to convert players from the lottery vertical to the betting vertical.

What Do Restrictions on Gambling Advertisement Demonstrate?

Considering restrictions on gambling advertisements in Ontario demonstrates a commitment to balancing the promotion of the gambling industry with responsible gambling practices and consumer protection.

By addressing concerns surrounding excessive advertising and safeguarding vulnerable populations, the state can cultivate a safer and more sustainable gambling environment.

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