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Bye-bye Gretzky: New ad standards for Ontario kick in today

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Bye-bye Gretzky: New ad standards for Ontario kick in today


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Mark Keast

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New ad standards for Ontario


Today’s the day the new Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) Advertising Standards come into effect.

Specifically, Standard 2.03 was modified where operators shall not in their materials and communications:

  • Use or contain cartoon figures, symbols, role models, social media influencers, celebrities, or entertainers who would likely be expected to appeal to minors.
  • Use active or retired athletes, who have an agreement or arrangement made directly or indirectly between an athlete and an operator or gaming-related supplier, in advertising and marketing except for the exclusive purpose of advocating for responsible gambling practices.

So, it’s bye-bye igaming ads with Jamie Foxx, Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Hart, Ron Gronkowski and the like. Those are gone. It’s going to be interesting to see where the creative goes. Because there’s game and then there’s lame. And we’ve been watching a lot in the latter category of late as operators gradually started adjusting to the new reality.

Stakelogic Enters into Partnership with Betty 

On the online casino front, Stakelogic, based in the Netherlands, an online slots and live casino games developer, has announced a strategic partnership with Betty, a female-focused online casino operator.

Betty is 100 per cent focused on developing their presence in the Ontario market. They aren’t anywhere else. Executives there point to Stakelogic’s innovative jackpot games – combining slots and live game shows – as a space they want to be in.

Movement on the Alberta Front

As Gaming News Canada reported, the provincial budget presented in Alberta tomorrow will include a mention of gambling.

Last week we reported on how Alberta is in the exploratory phase of a rollout similar to the regulatory regime that’s in place in Ontario, a market that currently has 49 licensed operators and 79 gaming websites up and running, generating $17.2 billion in total wagers in FY 23-24 Q3. Online casino is dominating the market, followed by sports betting.

Alberta premier Danielle Smith has tasked the government’s Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction, Dale Nally, with a mandate to work with Indigenous partners to develop and implement Alberta’s online gaming strategy, focusing on responsible gaming and provincial and indigenous revenue generation.

And in Quebec…

The Quebec provincial government under Francois Legault seems set on going in the opposite direction, retaining the Loto-Québec monopoly, and this morning the crown corporation released some financial data that in their words proves the premier is right by taking that tact. 

According to Loto-Québec, for the period from April 1 to Dec. 25, 2023, they posted total revenues of $2.111 billion and a net income of $1.076 billion – decreases of $113.2 million (5.1 per cent) and $128.4 million (10.7 per cent) compared to the same period in the year previous.

“We’re on track to meet our annual targets despite a peculiar economic context,” said Jean-François Bergeron, President and CEO of Loto-Québec.

We’re asking what that “peculiar economic context” means exactly, and we’ll report back when we find out.


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