The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has handed down a hefty fine to an online sportsbook for multiple violations related to responsible gambling practices. PointsBet was fined $150,000 for failing to meet Ontario’s responsible gambling requirements, marking the largest penalty issued by the commission since the province started regulating igaming markets in April 2022.
One of the alleged violations that led to the fine was the online sportsbook’s failure to intervene when a player, described as “potentially high risk,” lost $500,000 in less than three months. Additionally, PointsBet was accused of not enforcing the mandatory 24-hour period after the player canceled their daily deposit limit and continuing to deposit marketing credits totaling $35,000 without active consent.
The AGCO emphasized the importance of responsible gambling and the need for employees to be adequately trained to recognize and assist players who may be experiencing harm from gambling. AGCO’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Karin Schnarr, stated that igaming operators in Ontario 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 harm.
PointsBet has the option to appeal the fine through an independent tribunal, according to the AGCO. The commission remains focused on player protection and holding all registered operations to high standards when it comes to responsible gambling practices in Ontario.