PointsBet Canada Fined for Lapses in Responsible Gambling Practices
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has levied a significant fine of CA$150,000 against PointsBet Canada for multiple breaches of the province’s responsible gambling regulations. This move underscores the rigorous standards set by authorities to safeguard players against gambling-related harm.
The violations by PointsBet Canada include a failure to assist a player who lost over $500,000 in less than three months, raising serious concerns about player welfare and the need for timely interventions in cases of potential gambling harm. Despite the player being flagged as high-risk, AGCO reports that no effective measures were taken by PointsBet Canada during this period.
Additionally, PointsBet Canada breached the rules by not enforcing a 24-hour cooling-off period for players who cancel their per-day deposit limits. This requirement is a key aspect of its licensing conditions in Ontario, aimed at preventing impulsive gambling decisions. The case also highlighted issues with direct marketing practices, where despite a player withdrawing consent, PointsBet Canada deposited credits worth $35,500 and offered free tickets to sporting events.
The AGCO’s decision to impose this fine is a clear message to the igaming industry about the importance of responsible gambling practices and the need for strict compliance with regulatory standards. PointsBet Canada, a pioneer in the Ontario market since April 2022, has the option to appeal the fine. Meanwhile, AGCO CEO Karin Schnarr reiterates the organization’s commitment to protecting players and maintaining high operational standards among registered operators. This development serves as a crucial reminder for all stakeholders in the gambling sector to prioritize responsible gaming and player safety.