The role of iGaming Ontario

iGaming Ontario conducts and manages legal internet gaming and sports betting in Ontario when provided through private sector Operators. iGaming Ontario enters into agreements with private sector Operators pursuant to which those Operators act on behalf of and as agents for iGaming Ontario. In this capacity, the Operators offer internet games, including games of chance and mixed chance and skill played for money, as well as sports betting, on behalf of iGaming Ontario to individuals physically located in Ontario. These individuals access games and sports betting by registering for and logging into an electronic channel (for example, a gaming application or website) maintained by the operator (“iGO Site”). Players who are not physically located in Ontario are not permitted to participate in these games or sports betting.

iGaming Ontario is the operating mind of the iGO Sites and conducts and manages them pursuant to the Gaming Control Legislation, its operating agreements and the iGaming Ontario Policies (“iGO policies”) made thereunder.

The role of Operators

Operators and their suppliers apply for registration by the AGCO pursuant to the Gaming Control Act, 1992.

The AGCO will only register those Operators who act with honesty; integrity; in accordance with the law; and in the public interest. In assessing the eligibility of an operator for registration, the AGCO will carry out risk assessments and conduct due diligence investigations, including assessments of each Operator’s character, financial history, and competence, in accordance with section 9 of the Gaming Control Act, 1992.

iGaming Ontario, as the operating mind of the lottery scheme, only enters into agreements with Operators that meet its stringent requirements, including those governing anti-money laundering measures; player risk assessment; system standards; security; and insurance.

In operating iGO Sites as agents of iGaming Ontario, Operators are responsible for complying with the terms of their operating agreements with iGaming Ontario and the iGO policies; the terms and conditions of registration by the AGCO; the standards established by the Registrar of the AGCO; any other applicable standards and requirements, in accordance with section 22 of the Gaming Control Act, 1992; as well as all applicable law.

Internet gaming with international play

Under this model, players in Ontario will be able to participate in peer-to-peer games, including games of chance and mixed chance and skill played for money, and sports betting, involving players outside of Canada. Players located outside of Ontario but within Canada would not be permitted to participate in games or betting in the absence of an agreement between Ontario and the province or territory in which those players are located.

Players physically located in Ontario will continue to access games and sports betting through iGO Sites. Players outside of Canada would access games and sports betting through the Operator’s gaming application or website available in their jurisdiction (the “International Site”).

iGaming Ontario will continue to conduct and manage the iGO Sites through its agents, the Operators. However, operators would not act as agents of iGaming Ontario in operating the International Sites. Those sites, along with the players using them, would be subject to the relevant jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory regime.

In particular, and among others, the following key aspects of iGaming Ontario’s conduct and management of the iGO Sites would remain but would not apply to International Sites:

  • Player management: iGaming Ontario would continue to ensure the identity, legal age, and eligibility of players located in Ontario.
  • Gaming funds: iGaming Ontario would continue to maintain control and oversight of wagering and payouts to players located in Ontario. iGaming Ontario will also continue to control the gross gaming revenue (“GGR”) accruing from the operation of the iGO Sites, including requiring that GGR be kept separate from the Operator’s other funds, including in respect of operations outside of Canada, and providing that GGR is the sole and absolute property of iGaming Ontario until iGO pays the Operators their defined revenue share.
  • Game Eligibility and Rules of Play: iGamingOntario will continue to determine the games which may be offered to players in Ontario through iGO Sites. iGO will also retain the ability to establish a maximum rake for the peer-to-peer games played on iGO sites. The AGCO’s standards governing rules of play will continue to apply.
  • Technology: iGaming Ontario will retain a royalty-free right and licence to use each Operator’s intellectual property, including technology assets, in relation to players in Ontario. Operators would not be obligated to locate their technology assets in Ontario.
  • Data: iGaming Ontario will retain full and unrestricted access and control of all gaming data; player registration; and transaction data as it relates to players in Ontario.  iGaming Ontario will ensure sensitive data associated with players in Ontario is secured and protected from unauthorized access.
  • Branding and Marketing: iGO Sites will continue to prominently display the iGaming Ontario logo. Operators must comply with iGaming Ontario’s policies and directions regarding marketing and advertising.
  • Audit and oversight: iGaming Ontario will retain the right to audit and inspect Operators’ books of accounts and other records, materials, information, and data as they relate to the operation of the iGO Site during the term of the agreements with Operators and for a period of seven years thereafter.
    iGaming Ontario will retain the right to audit and inspect all aspects of an Operator’s security regime as it relates to the operation of an iGO Site.
    iGaming Ontario and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada will maintain the right to conduct audits and inspections of operators to ensure compliance with iGaming Ontario’s requirements and the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.
    Separately, the AGCO will continue to have independent regulatory oversight of iGaming Ontario, Operators, and their suppliers.  This oversight authority will include the ability to conduct compliance assurance activities, including audits, inspections, and the gathering of targeted data from operators and suppliers.
  • Customer Care: Established customer care and dispute resolution programs will continue to operate for the benefit of players using iGO Sites, and any finding by iGaming Ontario will be binding on an Operator in respect of a customer care issue or a dispute. Any dispute by an Ontario player relating to the Criminal Code or the Gaming Control Legislation must be resolved in the provincial or federal court of competent jurisdiction in Ontario.
  • Anti-Money Laundering: iGaming Ontario will maintain robust anti-money laundering and terrorist financing (“AML”) programs on iGO Sites, including ensuring that Operators comply with iGO’s AML policy on the detection, prevention, and deterrence of potential money laundering.
  • Responsible Gambling: iGaming Ontario will maintain rigorous responsible gambling initiatives on iGO Sites, including requiring that operators obtain accreditation with the Responsible Gambling Council’s “RG Check” program and maintain an igaming self-exclusion registry for players in Ontario. The AGCO’s standards prohibiting certain types of bonusing and inducements will continue to apply.
  • Anti-cheating: The AGCO’s standards governing anti-cheating measures on iGO Sites and the games accessible therein will continue to apply. These standards include the presence of measures to deter, prevent and detect cheating; to investigate complaints of cheating made by players in Ontario; and to notify the AGCO’s OPP detachment of incidents of cheating for possible criminal investigation.
  • Monitoring, Suspension and Termination: iGO will maintain sole and absolute discretion regarding the monitoring of Operators for compliance with its requirements, and may suspend and/or terminate the Operating Agreement if the Operator does not comply with its obligations.

Order in Council 210/2024