The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has fined licensed icasino operator Apollo Entertainment Ltd. CAD$100,000 (US$74,500) for failing to meet the province’s responsible-gambling requirements.
“The AGCO’s goal is to ensure Ontarians can enjoy online gambling on sites that operate fairly, responsibly, and provide important player protections,” said AGCO Chief Executive Officer Tom Mungham. “All registered operators have an obligation to proactively monitor patron play for signs of high-risk gambling and must take appropriate actions to intervene and reduce the potential for gambling-related harm.”
The penalty revolves around several alleged violations of the responsible-gambling provisions in the provincial Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, specifically:
- Failing to conduct required interventions with players who may be experiencing gambling-related harms. This included the case of a player experiencing more than $2 million in losses in under four months without receiving interventions from the gaming-site operator during that period.
- Failing to implement an adequate voluntary self-exclusion program, as well as providing insufficient tools for players to set financial and time-based gambling limits (i.e., loss and deposit limits).
- Failing to ensure their employees understood the importance of responsible gambling, including assisting players who may be experiencing gambling-related harms.
Apollo Entertainment Ltd. can appeal the Registrar’s penalty. In a statement, the AGCO said Apollo has been “responsive” to the AGCO’s findings and has taken “significant” steps to strengthen controls on its sites regarding responsible gambling.
Apollo operates a number of licensed casino websites in the province – Captain Cooks, Golden Tiger, Grand Mondial, and Yukon Gold, to name several.
Since the regulated Ontario igaming market went live in April 2022, the AGCO has issued monetary penalties against operators several times, including CAD$48,000 against Unibet for alleged advertising and inducement infractions, CAD$100,000 against Draft Kings Canada for alleged advertising and inducement infractions, and CAD$48,000 against BetMGM Canada and CAD$30,000 against PointsBet Canada, both for alleged advertising and inducement infractions.