In order to terminate the so-called transition phase for operators and gaming-related suppliers operating in the unfettered free market and to address specific risks linked to live dealer games, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has published new gaming standards (officially named New Standards). The New Standards will go into effect on October 31, 2022, according to the related AGCO Information Bulletin, which was published on October 4, 2022.
The transition of providers and gaming-related vendors (suppliers) from the unmonitored (unregulated) free market to the regulated environment has been a significant goal of the AGCO ever since the introduction of Ontario’s Internet gaming industry.
To achieve this goal, the AGCO started accepting registration applications in September 2021, well in advance of the introduction of Ontario’s online gaming market on April 4, 2022. Operators and suppliers operating in Ontario’s open market without regulations were not prohibited from registering as part of the launch, but they ran the risk of having their registration requests rejected by the AGCO if they waited to register to do business in the regulated market after the launch.
The AGCO is now making strides to formally end this “transition period” (as they called it) for unregistered operators and suppliers by requiring that operators and vendors engaged in the unfettered free market in Ontario (or that have arrangements or agreements with those operating in the unregulated market) must cease their activities in the unregulated market. This is done through the adoption of the New Standards, specifically New Standard 1.22.
On October 31, 2022, New Standard 1.22 will go into effect, giving impacted operators and gaming-related providers more time to comply. Norm 1.22 stipulates that (quoted):
“Operators and gaming-related suppliers must cease all unregulated activities if, to carry out those same activities in iGaming Ontario’s regulated online lottery scheme, it would require registration under the GCA.
Operators and gaming-related suppliers shall not enter into any agreements or arrangements with any unregistered person who is providing the operator or gaming-related supplier with any goods or services if, to provide those goods and services in iGaming Ontario’s regulated online lottery scheme, it would require registration under the GCA.”
Crucially, the AGCO has also made it clear that Standard 1.22 would relate to and oversee applicants for registration in parallel to registrants in Ontario’s Internet gaming industry. By October 31, 2022, all unregulated activity—including interactions with unregulated participants—that current registrants have with individuals who participate in Ontario’s unregulated market must come to an end. Applicants who are currently engaged in unregulated activities but wish to proceed with registration must also stop all such activities. When Standard 1.22 is in effect, the AGCO has stated that it will, as with every incident of non-compliance, take the proper enforcement action against every registered owner (operator) that does not comply.
Live Dealer Games
The Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming will also be modified by the New Standards to address the special hazards associated with live dealer games, which are those that involve real dealers or presenters through iGaming portals. The New Standards for live dealer games aim to address possible hazards associated with the use of live presenters as well as dangers associated with the utilization of physical gaming equipment, such as playing cards and roulette wheels.
The AGCO will mandate that, just since October 31, 2022, providers have precautions in place to discourage live dealers from jeopardizing a game’s integrity and that they limit access to gambling equipment to only those people with a commercial need as a component of the initiatives to tackle these risks.
By April 4, 2023, additional regulations will go into effect that calls for specific gaming hardware in use in live dealer games to first receive the Registrar’s approval or a certification from an authorized independent testing facility before being connected to live dealer iGaming platforms.
Thanks to Ontario’s newly formed Internet gaming industry, the first of its type in all of Canada, residents can now gamble online at top-notch gambling sites. Players will feel secure knowing that these websites will undergo stringent scrutiny for gaming fairness, player security, and ethical business operations.The top casinos in Ontario have a license and provide the same slot machines and table games that you like. To make sure you are seeing no deposit bonus codes in Canada on a website that iGaming Ontario controls and runs, seek the iGaming Ontario logo wherever you go. The stringent criteria of Ontario for gaming fairness and responsible wagering are met by this, which ensures player protection.