Ontario: Unibet fined K by regulator for alleged ads and inducement breaches

Ontario: Unibet fined $38K by regulator for alleged ads and inducement breaches

Ontario’s gaming regulator has issued CAD 48,000 ($36,856) in monetary penalties to Unibet for alleged advertising and inducement infractions. The fine was announced by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) on Thursday.

“In order to protect the public interest and ensure Ontario’s iGaming market operates responsibly and with integrity, the Registrar of the AGCO has served Unibet with an Order of Monetary Penalty (OMP) totaling $48,000 for alleged infractions of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, pertaining to advertising and inducements,” a statement informs.

Contrary to the Standards, between May 19 and May 22, 2022, Unibet allegedly posted or aired “multiple broad gambling inducements” that promoted “generous welcome offers,” the regulator said.

Ontario’s iGaming standards, put into place to ensure responsible gambling, feature restrictions in the advertising of inducements, bonuses or credits, except when they are on an operator’s site, or through direct advertising and marketing issued after receiving active player consent. “Ontario strictly prohibits broad public advertising of bonuses and other gambling inducements, and the AGCO will continue to take regulatory action,” the commission warned.

“We expect all registered operators to achieve and maintain the high standards of responsible gambling, player protection and game integrity. The AGCO will continue to monitor these gaming sites’ activities, and ensure they are meeting their obligations under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act and the Standards,” commented Tom Mungham, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar – AGCO.

A registered operator served with an OMP by the AGCO has the right to appeal the Registrar’s Order to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT), which is an adjudicative tribunal independent of the AGCO and part of Tribunals Ontario.

Ontario’s regulator has already taken regulatory action related to advertising violations a number of times since the Canadian province launched its market in early April. Last month, DraftKings was served a CAD 100,000 fine; and before that, PointsBet and BetMGM saw CAD 30,000 and CAD 48,000 in penalties respectively for the same reasons.