PointsBet Hit with C$150k Fine from AGCO for Responsible Gaming Failures in Ontario

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PointsBet Canada Operations 1 Inc., the popular online gaming operator registered in Canada, will have to pay a penalty of $150.000. The penalty was issued by the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) because the company didn’t comply with the required responsible gaming practices.

Numerous violations:

According to AGCO, the company violated various responsible gaming provisions enlisted in the Register’s Standards for Internet Gaming (the Standards). 

AGCO revealed the violations of the Standards. Among them is avoiding the intervention and failing to assist the player who was at risk of gambling problems and potentially even battling the issue. It is noticed that the particular player lost more than $500.000 in less than three months. The systems flagged them as a high-risk player more than once because of huge losses and several cancellations of their withdrawal. However, the operator didn’t react to obvious signs of problem gambling.

On top of that, after the player canceled their deposit limit set for one day, the company was obligated to enforce the cooling-off period, which lasted for 24 hours, but it wasn’t done.

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Among the violations is failing to get the players’ consent for direct advertising and presenting various gambling inducements, bonuses, and credits without that consent. In total, the players received credits worth $35.500, and along with that, they were offered free tickets for sporting events.

The PointsBet’s employees clearly didn’t understand the importance of complying with various responsible gaming practices, and they weren’t trained so that they could help the people in need. They failed to respond and assist the people who might be in danger of this serious problem.

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Players’ safety and security are the main goals:

The main priority of AGCO is making sure that all licensed operators in Ontario are following the rules prescribed to make the gambling experience safe and secure. The Standards are created so all operators can be aware of the specific rules and regulations that will help protect the players, especially ones at high risk of problem gambling, in each gambling-related field. 

The measures are designed with the world’s best practices in mind, and their main goal is to prevent the problem gambling, as well as raise awareness of it, enabling early intervention if needed and providing support to the players. 

PointsBet has a right to appeal the Notice of Monetary Penalty to the License Appeal Tribunal, an independent body that is a part of the Tribunals Ontario.

Dr. Karin Schnarr, CEO and Registrar at AGCO, said: “In Ontario, igaming operators have an obligation to proactively monitor their patrons’ play for signs of high-risk gambling, and to take appropriate actions to intervene and reduce the potential for gambling related harms. The AGCO will continue to focus on player protection by holding all registered operators to these high standards.”

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