The consultation period for the proposed ban on the use of athletes and celebrities in online gambling advertisements by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is open until May 8th.
The AGCO in Ontario is recommending a modification to internet gambling advertising regulations with the goal of reducing the potential harm to minors. As part of this proposal, a ban on advertisements featuring celebrities and/or athletes is being suggested, as these advertisements are likely to attract the attention of minors.
Operators and suppliers will be required to discontinue any advertising and marketing efforts that involve the use of athletes, whether currently active or retired, in their online gambling promotions. This proposal would also prohibit the use of cartoon characters, symbols, role models, social media influencers, celebrities, or entertainers who are likely to appeal to minors, in order to minimize potential harm to underage individuals.
The proposed change involves shifting from the current standard of ads that “primarily appeal” to minors to a stricter ban on ads that have any appeal to minors. Feedback on this proposal is being accepted by the regulator until May 8th. After the final standard is published, operators will have a three-month window before the rules are implemented. It’s worth noting that Ontario’s online gambling market was launched in April 2022.