AGCO To Expand Sport And Event Betting In Key Sectors

Written By Jose Colorado on December 31, 2021 - Last Updated on January 4, 2022
REGULATION Concept with Wooden Blocks

The Alcohol Gaming Commission is courting sport and event betting.

In mid-December, the Commission announced it had revised its regulatory standards in a pair of industries to include sport and event betting.

If finalized – as revisions are currently under review – the lottery and land-based gaming sectors would both be impacted.

Essentially, the regulatory framework in both sectors would expand to include sport and event betting.

According to AGCO’s official statement, the main benefit would be protecting betting markets from criminal activity.

In total, the changes affect four documents.

They include:

  • Registrar’s Standards for Gaming (land-based gaming sector)
  • The Casino Electronic Gaming Devices and Gaming Systems Minimum Technical Standards (land-based gaming sector)
  • Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector (lottery sector)
  • Electronic Lottery Systems Minimum Technical Standards (lottery sector)

Exploding sports betting industry driving regulatory expansion

On June 22, Bill C-218 – officially known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act – was passed by the Senate.

That marked the beginning of the single-event betting era in Canada.

Results have been staggering ever since, with multiple operators scoring huge returns.

That outcome, however, has spurred the interest of the AGCO.

Due to the millions of dollars regularly being pushed, the Commission claims a “well-regulated market” is needed. The AGCO stated it plans to offer many different options for Ontario sports bettors.

But more importantly, they intend on minimizing the potential risk that comes with such high-stakes markets.

Insider betting and game manipulation are two activities of interest. The AGCO said operators would have to be proactive in sniffing out suspicious behaviour.

Meanwhile, some individuals (e.g., coaches, players, referees) will not be able to bet (to help curtail insider betting).

Lottery and Gaming sectors see similar changes

Despite being in two different industries, many proposed changes are similar in the lottery and gaming sectors.

Consider both are required to make sport and event bets understandable by providing how-to resources to interested players. The pair of sectors also need to provide an acceptable betting criterion to determine allowable bets.

But there are some notable differences.

Changes to the lottery standards stipulate operators can’t allow individual bets over $100. Meanwhile, there is no mention of such a restriction for land-based gaming.

Instead, there is a need for operators to provide players with a record of placed bets.

The AGCO listed seven significant changes to the land-based standards and six for the lottery.

Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming used as a blueprint

The AGCO isn’t coming up with these regulations from scratch, however.

Three months earlier, the Commission released its final version of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming.

This document was the blueprint for providing comprehensive outcomes-based online sport and event betting rules.

The standards cover gambling, anti-money laundering, consumer protection and more.

Officials at AGCO say the same basic framework provided the foundation for the current reiteration in the lottery and land-based gaming sectors.

Though they tweaked each Standard based on individual circumstances for both industries.

AGCO continues to remain proactive in preparation for Ontario’s competitive market

The AGCO continues to prepare itself for Ontario’s highly-anticipated open, regulated iGaming market.

Forecasters say it should launch by early 2022.

But preparations for the goldmine – with multiple international players interested – have been in place for months.

Earlier this month, AGCO released its Internet Gaming Go-Live Compliance Guide.

The guide outlines requirements for prospective online gambling operators and gaming-related suppliers (GRSs) to participate in the market.

Before that, the AGCO released some more reading material in the form of a nine-page Notification Matrix.

It stipulated scenarios where operators and GRSs must notify the AGCO.

Considering how much money and the potential for insidious behaviour could creep in – it’s good to see the Commission proactive.

Colleagues at PlayCanada project the Canadian legal sports betting market could generate $25 billion/per year.

Photo by Shutterstock/garagestock
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Jose Colorado

Jose Colorado is a British Columbia-based writer. He lives in Burnaby and loves sports, anime, writing, business, and the occasional walk on the beach.

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