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Ontario regulator fines online sportsbook after gambler loses $500K in under 3 months

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The province’s gaming regulator has issued a steep fine to an online sportsbook over several alleged violations, including failing to “intervene” when a “potentially high risk” player gambled away $500,000 in less than three months.


The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has fined PointsBet $150,000 for “failing to meet Ontario’s responsible gambling requirements.”


In a statement provided to CTV News, the AGCO said that this is the largest penalty the commission has issued since April 2022, when the province began regulating igaming markets. 


According to a news release, the alleged violations include failures to intervene when a player was “potentially experiencing gambling harms,” not enforcing the required 24-hour period after the player cancelled their daily deposit limit and continuing to deposit marketing credits – some $35,000 worth – “without active consent.”


In this case, the player lost over $500,000 in under three months.


The AGCO states that those incidents demonstrate a failure to ensure that employees “understood the importance of responsible gambling and were adequately trained to respond appropriately to, and assist, players who may be experiencing harm from gambling.”


“In Ontario, igaming operators have an obligation to proactively monitor their patrons’ play for signs of high-risk gambling, and to take appropriate actions to intervene and reduce the potential for gambling related harms,” AGCO’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Karin Schnarr said. “The AGCO will continue to focus on player protection by holding all registered operations to these high standards.”


According to the AGCO, PointsBet has the right to appeal through an independent tribunal. 

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