The Ontario regulated igaming market, which just celebrated its first anniversary, isn’t static. It’s constantly evolving and that includes the standards that govern it.
Thus, the announcement that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is reaching out to the industry for consultation on the issue of celebrities and igaming advertising is part of that, as the Commission attempts to put a cork on what it sees as a potential emerging risk.
More specifically, the AGCO is proposing a change to internet-gambling advertising “with the goal of further minimizing potential harm to youth and children” by identifying advertising and marketing approaches that “strongly appeal” to vulnerable people and young people (including those under the legal gaming age) through the use of celebrities and/or athletes, as well as cartoon figures, role models, and social-media influencers.
The AGCO is “proposing to prohibit the use of athletes and celebrities who can reasonably be expected to appeal to children and youth from internet gambling advertising and marketing in Ontario.”
That would put ads like the Wayne Gretzky/Connor McDavid BetMGM spots, the Jamie Foxx BetMGM ads, the recent theScore Bet spots featuring celebrities like Jon Lovitz and Patrick J. Adams, and the Bet365 ads featuring Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul at risk. What if celebrities were used to run ads on responsible gaming instead? That’s one question for the AGCO.
The AGCO will accept perspectives and comments from stakeholders up until May 8. People can register via the AGCO’s engagement portal.
The AGCO says operators and suppliers would have three months to comply with any new and amended standard following the publication of the final standard on the AGCO website.