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Ontario’s Ban on Athletes and Celebrities in Gambling Ads Is Now Fully Operative

Ban on athletes and celebrities from appearing in online gambling advertisements As of February 28, 2024, the ban on athletes and celebrities from appearing in online gambling advertisements and marketing in Ontario is now fully operative. The adjustments in the gambling legislation of the province were first announced last summer by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

As officials explained back then, the prohibitive measure aims to “help protect children and young people who may be particularly vulnerable to such advertising content.” Besides active and retired sports personalities and celebrities, the same limitations apply to social media influencers, role models, and characters that appeal to the young demographic. The ban, however, at least for now, does not extend to responsible gambling endorsements.

In a broader context, the issue of targeting minors and high-risk individuals in advertising and marketing is among AGCO’s essential undertakings. There are other guidelines in place banning gambling ads near public venues visited by minors, such as schools.

As of August 2021, the federal government has legalized gambling on individual sporting events, allowing provinces and territories to monitor the industry at their discretion. Ever since there has been a substantial increase in the volume of gambling advertisements seen during popular sports events.

The Canadian Mental Health Association Insists Upon Further Limitations

The Canadian Mental Health Association As reported by CasinoGamesPro last month, advocates have been insisting upon a nationwide ban on gambling ads in Canada, with the Campaign to Ban Advertising for Gambling at the forefront.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is also among the organizations that support more vigorous limitations on gambling advertisements. As reported by CTV News Toronto, Camille Quenneville, CEO of the CMHA, Ontario Division, commented on the already introduced limitations on gambling advertisements. She said that while the ban was an essential first step in the implementation of stronger controls, further steps must be taken “to reverse the alarming trends in online gambling among youth in Ontario.”

According to Quenneville, sports personalities should also be banned from appearing in ads promoting responsible gambling programs and initiatives. Furthermore, operators must be prohibited from sponsoring segments in broadcast programming. She further added that the implementation of further restrictions on gambling advertising should ultimately lead to a complete ban.

Established in July 2021 as a subsidiary of AGCO, iGaming Ontario works in collaboration with the Government of Ontario to bring the best online gambling operators to the province in a safe and properly regulated environment. Last month, iGaming Ontario released the market performance report encompassing Q3 of the 2023-24 Fiscal Year.

As the report’s figures indicated, there are currently 49 legal operators and 72 gaming websites. The number of active player accounts amounts to 1.2 Million, with an average monthly spend per active player account of $186. The total wagering volume from October 1 to December 31, 2023, reached $17.2 Billion, producing a total gaming revenue of $658 Million.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.