Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the regulator of online sports betting in the province, is making some personnel changes in its Board of Directors. The regulator announced that Dave Forestell has been assigned as the new Chair of the Board. Mr. Forestell was already part of the Board while also being Chair of AGCO's subsidiary iGaming Ontario.
Recently, representatives of the iGaming watchdog shared that the decision on the provincial market's marketing changes is just weeks away. However, the regulator is still yet to provide its official verdict on the widely-discussed and heavy sports betting ads in the province, which have aggravated local parents and raised concerns among gambling experts.
Still No Update on New Standards
While the province's regulated market awaits a decision from AGCO, the commission has made changes to its Board of Directors. The Board will now be chaired by Mr. Forestell who prior to that was part of iGaming Ontario. But, according to a press release, he stepped down from the iGO role to move to the commission. Hence leaving the prior without a Board Chair.
The news about the personnel changes comes on the back of a previous announcement that the watchdog's Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Tom Mungham, will retire later in 2023. A while back the commission informed that Mr. Mungham will continue in his role while the board was looking for his successor. However, such has not been named yet.
The changes on its board could be a reason why the regulator is yet to provide a final decision on the marketing rules amendments for online gambling operators in the province. Back in April, AGCO proposed banning the use of pro athletes, celebrities, and influencers in iGaming ads, as a protection measure, due to the many young people watching sports games.
After AGCO's proposal, there was a comment period for the industry which concluded on May 15, 2023. Then at the Gaming Summit in the middle of June, Mr. Mungham, insisted that the final decision on the matter was just weeks away and not months. However, since then, there has been no official word on the new marketing standards for online gambling in Ontario.
Recent Numbers from the iGaming Sector
Just last week, iGaming Ontario issued its fiscal report on the regulated market for iGaming for the first quarter of the 2023-2024 FY. For the period between April 1 through June 30, 2023, the province's online gambling operators handled the online betting volume of CA$14 billion, which transformed into approximately CA$545 million in gaming revenue.
At the end of the quarter, there were 46 operators online, which ran 71 gaming websites. There were 920k active user accounts, which had an average monthly spend of CA$197. The total wagering volume was compiled of casino games, including slots, live and computer-based table games and peer-to-peer bingo which accounted for nearly CA$11.6 billion or 83% of total wagers
Source: Zochodne, Geoff “Ontario Regulator Rejigs Leadership as Sports Betting Sites Await Marketing Decisions” Covers, July 25, 2023
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