The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which regulates the gambling industry in Canada’s most populous province, announced it has imposed monetary sanctions to the combined amount of CA$70,000 on three remote operators. The watchdog cited several infractions related to game integrity as the reason for the freshly imposed fines. Mobile Incorporated Limited, Bunchberry Limited, and LeoVegas were all fined for breaches of Standards 4.08 and 4.09. According to the regulatory body, the three operators were offering slot games that were not authorized by the AGCO and lacked certification from an independent testing agency approved by the regulator.
Mobile Incorporated Limited was additionally found guilty of breaching Standard 1.22. The company was allegedly offering online slots developed by two software providers that were not registered with the Ontario regulator. However, the watchdog did not disclose the names of the two software companies in its official statement. The Malta-based gambling company suffered a fine of CA$30,000 as a result of these violations.
LeoVegas and Bunchberry Limited Were Served Smaller Fines
The fines levied on LeoVegas and Bunchberry Limited were lower since the pair breached only two rather than three regulatory standards. Bunchberry Limited offered uncertified games on its Ontario-facing website and suffered a fine of CA$15,000 as a result. LeoVegas, which procured an operating license in early April 2022, was served a higher fine amounting to CA$25,000 for providing uncertified online slots. Yet, this penalty pales in comparison to the fine the mobile-focused gaming site received from the UK regulator in the summer of 2022 when it had to pay £1.32 million for various anti-money laundering and responsible gambling failings.
Tom Munghan, AGCO’s Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, explained the provision of certified online games that are independently audited by AGCO-approved testing agencies is a crucial feature of the regulatory framework of the province. This ensures Ontarians only have access to games that fulfill the highest possible standards of integrity and fairness, according to Mr. Mugham. At the time of publication, the regulatory body has added four approved testing agencies to its list, namely eCOGRA, Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), BMM North America, and Gaming Associates Europe. More gaming auditors can be added at a later date.
The three sanctioned licensees have the right to appeal the regulator’s decision with the License Appeal Tribunal (LAT) within a 15-day period, counted from the date of receiving the penalty notices. LAT operates independently from the AGCO as part of Tribunals Ontario.
As we previously reported, legal online gambling launched in Canada’s most populous province in early April 2022. As many as 15 remote gambling operators procured licenses at the time, including the freshly fined LeoVegas.