The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has provided operators with updated guidelines for advertising and marketing standards after the province’s online gambling market opened earlier this month.
The body is aiming to clarify the rules around the marketing of ‘inducements, bonuses and credits’ by affiliates and other third parties related to Ontario operators.
Ontario laws prohibit any ‘public advertising of inducements, bonuses and credits, by operators or media/affiliate publishers, including ‘targeted advertising and algorithm-based adverts’.
Defining inducements, AGCO stated that this relates to a promotional offer that encourages a consumer to participate in online gambling activity via ‘sign-up offers, deposit offers, offer of a reward, bonus or “boosted” odds, refund/stake-back offers, multi-bet offers, or winnings paid on losing bets’.
The AGCO will penalise third-party marketing partners for promoting inducements regardless of whether they apply a direct or indirect approach to inform consumers of incentives.
Such inducements can only be offered once a customer visits a licensed operator’s website or mobile app.
Despite the third-party guidance, licensed operators can inform their players of inducements and bonus offers through direct marketing, as AGCO noted that consent had been granted by individual customers signing up to the operator’s website or app.
Operators are reminded that they hold full accountability on advertising standards, both through their own direct marketing and any third-party affiliate or media partner advertising.
An AGCO statement read: “Any “marketing affiliates” that advertise for the Ontario market must not also advertise gaming sites that operate in Ontario without AGCO registration. It is the operator’s responsibility to ensure that the marketing affiliates they work with meet this standard.”