Unibet Ontario takes a $48k Hit from AGCO for “Generous” Bonus Ad
It took many years for Ontario to get all its iGaming ducks in a row. Above all, provincial leaders had to ensure utmost player protections; protection against not just scams and fraudulent activity, but against predatory marketing. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario insists each and every operator adhere to strict policies, responding swiftly to violations with heavy penalties.
That’s exactly what happened late last month when one of the market’s most reputable iGaming brands drew the ire of regulators. Unibet, a 25-year-old company and one of the first to launch in Ontario’s nascent market, is reeling from a $48,000 penalty.
Unibet Ontario takes a $48k Hit from AGCO
On Thursday, August 25, the AGCO announced the enforcement of a hefty penalty against Unibet ON Inc. Following an in-depth investigation into the company’s advertising practices dating back to mid-May, it was the regulator’s determination that Unibet was in violation of itsRegistrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming.
The AGCO alleges that, from the period between May 19 and May 22, 2022, Unibet beached its contractual obligations with the province by airing or posting multiple gambling inducements. The advertisement of inducement is strictly prohibited by the Standard 2.05. Specifically, the inducement was promoting “generous welcome offers”, for one or more of its internet gambling verticals.
“We expect all registered operators to achieve and maintain the high standards of responsible gambling, player protection and game integrity. The AGCO will continue to monitor these gaming sites’ activities, and ensure they are meeting their obligations under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act and the Standards.”
Tom Mungham, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar – AGCO
To Appeal or Not to Appeal…
Unibet has every right to appeal the decision. In most cases of this nature – not just in Ontario, but throughout years of global iGaming regulation – appeals are perfunctory. Companies are rarely willing to admit wrongdoing or pay financial penalties without an argument. However, in this particular instance, it might be to Unibet’s benefit to squash the situation as quickly and amicably as possible.
Canada’s iGaming market is still very young, and growing at a rapid pace. Unibet entered the fray as one of 18 competing operators. Now, after only three months, the number of operators is already up to 40. the Last thing Unibet needs is a reason for customers to look at it sideways. Accept the allegations. Pay the fine. Sweep this off the virtual doorstep as quickly as possible. Because let’s not forget, the National Football League (NFL) is just about to kick off its regular season.
When it comes to sports betting, American football is big business in Canada. Unibet Ontario offers a variety of online gambling verticals, including casino games, live casino tables, sports, and even e-sports. But there’s no denying the sportsbook is at the forefront of its business. Tomorrow marks the very first fully authorized day of NFL football betting in Ontario; in all of Canada, for that matter. So, no, an appeal is not out of the question. But it’s far more likely Unibet will pay the fine and return its focus to business as usual.
Adalene Lucas: is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.