PointsBet Canada Operations 1 Inc., a popular online gaming operator registered in Canada, has been slapped with a hefty penalty of $150,000 by the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for failing to comply with responsible gaming practices.
The AGCO reported that the company violated various responsible gaming provisions listed in the Register’s Standards for Internet Gaming. The violations included failure to intervene and assist a player at risk of gambling problems, who had lost over $500,000 in less than three months and was flagged as a high-risk player multiple times due to substantial losses and canceled withdrawals. The operator also failed to enforce the cooling-off period after the player canceled their deposit limit for one day.
In addition, PointsBet failed to obtain the players’ consent for direct advertising and presented various gambling inducements, bonuses, and credits without that consent, totaling $35,500 in credits and free tickets for sporting events.
AGCO CEO and Registrar Dr. Karin Schnarr emphasized that responsible gaming practices are essential for the safety and security of players. The Standards are designed to protect players, especially those at high risk of problem gambling, in all gambling-related areas. Measures focus on preventing problem gambling, raising awareness of it, enabling early intervention, and providing support to players in need.
The AGCO will continue to focus on player protection by enforcing high standards for all registered operators. PointsBet has the right to appeal the Notice of Monetary Penalty to the License Appeal Tribunal, an independent body that is part of Tribunals Ontario.
It is apparent that PointsBet’s employees did not comprehend the importance of complying with responsible gaming practices and failed to respond and assist individuals who may have been in danger of problem gambling. The AGCO’s actions demonstrate a commitment to holding operators accountable for their responsibility to proactively monitor and intervene in high-risk gambling behavior to reduce potential harms to players.
Overall, the penalty levied against PointsBet serves as a reminder that strict adherence to responsible gaming practices is essential for all gaming operators in Ontario to ensure the protection and well-being of players.