The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) slapped Australian online gambling company PointsBet with a monetary fine worth $150,000 over alleged failure to comply with the province’s responsible gambling rules.
The Canadian unit of PointsBet was accused of failing to appropriately intervene and provide adequate assistance to a player who was potentially harming themselves as a result of their gambling. As a result, the gambling watchdog of the province of Ontario announced the charges against the company on November 9th.
The regulator revealed that a player had lost more than $500,000 in a period of less than three months. Furthermore, the customer was categorised as a potentially high-risk one by the Australian gambling company’s systems on a number of occasions, including due to suffering significant losses and making several withdrawal cancellations. Despite this, PointsBet initiated no interventions during the period.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which is currently responsible for the regulation of online casino and sports betting services in the province, also unveiled allegations that PointsBet failed to enforce a 24-hour cooling-off period at the time that the player cancelled their daily deposit limit. The sportsbook operator also used direct advertising to target customers with bonuses, gambling-related inducements, or free credits without getting player consent first.
PointsBet Not the First Gambling Operator Facing AGCO Fine
The gambling and alcohol regulator shared that making sure that licensed online gambling operators follow the responsible gambling-related standards in the province of Ontario was one of its paramount priorities. As a result, it handed out a monetary fine totalling $150,000 to PointsBet.
The company is given the chance to appeal the penalty to the Licence Appeal Tribunal of Ontario in case it wants to. Based on the company’s response to the penalty so far, it may take advantage of that right. However, apart from confirming that the operator was aware of the recent allegations that had been put forth by the AGCO, PointsBet’s spokesperson refused to make further commentary on the situation.
The Ontario gambling regulatory body has already issued a number of fines to online gambling companies that offer their services in the province since online casino and sports betting were officially launched in Ontario in April 2022.
For the time being, Ontario is the only province in Canada that allows a number of private-sector online gambling websites to legally operate within its borders. The large population of the province, combined with the fact that broader forms of online gambling are currently available there, have also made Ontario a popular growth target for online companies. So far, more than 40 of them have entered the province’s gambling market.
The increasing interest of operators to the local gambling sector also prompted a wave of gambling advertising, which has pushed the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to take action and make sure the sector remains safe for customers. So far, the watchdog has hit operators with a number of fines associated with advertising and RG-related issues, including a $100,000 fine that it handed out to Apollo Entertainment Ltd. in August 2023.
Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.