Toronto Mike

Celebrities and Athletes Got Banned From Online Gambling Ads in Ontario

The decision to prohibit certain forms of online casino ads in Ontario, made by the local Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), is active as of February 28, 2024. We are talking about the decision to stop athletes and famous persons from participating in any form of online gambling commercials in the province.

We will analyze the new rule in the coming sections, but let’s clarify something immediately. This rule doesn’t change the very essence of the virtual gaming business in the province. Players can still join the best no-verification withdrawal casinos as mentioned on casinoofthekings and play in a fairly anonymous environment. This practically means that AGCO’s resolution doesn’t affect gamblers who wish to engage in safe and secure digital gambling.

Now that we’ve got that settled, let’s move on to the in-depth exploration of the latest online casino rule in Ontario.

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Why Did AGCO Ban This Advertising Format?

The province's first legal framework related to online casino gaming was established in 2022. Though still fresh, AGCO realized in 2023 that the framework needed additional elements to strengthen the local Internet gaming market further. The first way to do that is to ban celebrities and athletes from casino-related commercials.

The Reason Behind The New Law

For one, they want to discourage minors and younger adults from trying online casinos. According to AGCO, the quickest way to do this is by preventing notable and familiar faces from participating in gambling-related commercials. More specifically, individuals “who would likely be expected to appeal to minors” are banned from digital casino advertising. This is still a quite broad definition, but the Commission made sure to clarify it by mentioning different types of people and even items that must not be seen in these ads:

  • Athletes (former or active)
  • Celebrities
  • Individuals who are (or look like) minors
  • Social media influencers
  • Entertainers
  • Role models
  • Symbols
  • Cartoon figures

The only exception to this rule applies to athletes (retired or active) who wish to partake in the promotion of “responsible gambling practices.” That’s the only situation in which the above specifications do not apply.

Other Notable Provisions of the Updated Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming

Though the updates mainly target highly influential persons (at least from a young gamer’s perspective), AGCO added a few more rules to the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming. For one, all types of marketing materials are strictly prohibited from targeting three types of individuals:

  • High-risk persons
  • Underage individuals
  • Self-excluded persons

Secondly, such materials must not use any kind of discourse or themes closely related or appealing to minors. Thirdly, advertising points (billboards and similar) near educational institutions are banned. The same applies to websites and other online go-to places for minors.

Is Digital Gambling Such a Huge Threat?

This is a tough one to answer. Our first reaction probably goes like this: Online games at some top casinos aren’t a big deal. But that’s just our opinion and it seems that Ontario authorities disagree. Indeed, the question of whether digital gambling poses a significant threat is complex as well as multifaceted.

Though some may argue that online gaming at reputable casinos is relatively harmless entertainment for consenting adults, the stance taken by Ontario authorities suggests a different perspective. The AGCO decision indicates serious concern about gaming promotions' potential impact on vulnerable demographics.

We believe the Commission probably didn’t go into it without thorough preparation. On the contrary, they likely conducted an in-depth analysis to understand the behavior of a typical minor and their relations to casino ads. It is true that responsible gambling practices exist and can mitigate some risks. Still, it is clear that AGCO-implemented regulatory measures reflect a broader commitment to safeguarding public health and well-being.

On the other hand, it is also necessary to acknowledge that digital gambling itself is not inherently problematic. Like any other form of entertainment, you enjoy it cautiously by understanding the risks and setting appropriate limits. The challenge lies in finding the right balance between allowing adults to make informed choices about their recreational activities and protecting vulnerable populations from harm.

Say Goodbye to Casino Ads Featuring Celebrities

Regardless of our point of view, gambling ads featuring athletes and other notable figures are banned in Ontario as of late February. We truly hope this measure will serve its primary purpose: to keep minors and younger adults unaware of online casinos or at least disinterested.

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