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AGCO floats celebrity ban for gambling ads

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The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has proposed a shakeup of its gambling regulations, which will ban athletes and celebrities from online gambling advertising.

The ban will first undergo engagement discussions with a range of stakeholders, who the AGCO say it will listen to until 8 May 2023, before announcing a decision.

The proposed change to the standards will force operators and suppliers to cease advertising activities that use athletes, active or retired, in gaming marketing and advertising.

It will also prohibit the use of cartoons, symbols, role models, social media influencers, celebrities or entertainers who may be reasonably expected to appeal to minors – under the age of 18.

Following the publication of the final standard after the period of stakeholder engagement, the ACGO will allow affected operators and suppliers three months to adhere to the new rules.

Anniversary changes

The AGCO, it states as part of its mandate, monitors and identifies emerging risks. The regulator said that it “has identified advertising and marketing approaches that strongly appeal to persons who are under the legal gaming age through the use of celebrities and/or athletes”.

The statement went on to say that “concern regarding the potential harmful impact on the most vulnerable population, underage persons, remains high”.

The proposed change in the standards comes at the first anniversary of the launch of Ontario’s igaming market.

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