In June, 2023 I supported the introduction of a bill that would ban the advertising of online iGaming gambling advertising.
As technology adapts, so must we. With the advent of online gambling, banning online betting advertising is one important step in the right direction to help prevent the harms associated with gambling. Free-to-play websites and ads with celebrities only serve to entice people into engaging in risky behaviours that could lead to pretty serious consequences.
The Auditor General reported I-Gaming revenue grew from $139 M in 2020 to $511 M in June of 2022 when the Government opened the door to the for-profit companies. It now sits at 35.5 billion for 2022. Her report tells us that OLG's growth rate went down to 8% while private for-profit operators grew by 65% in 3 months. The province collects 45% of OLG internet gaming revenue compared to only 5.7% of the gaming revenue from private iGaming platforms. Letting these services promote their services is a lose-lose proposition for Ontarians.
In last August we learned that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has decided to ban gambling commercials that feature celebrities and athletes, which will help protect both children and adults from the explosion of unregulated advertising content.
For too many years Ontarians lacked effective consumer protections when it came to online gambling. Today’s action from the AGCO is finally a positive step in the right direction – and a sign that our bill with expanded protections is needed.