- DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario fined $100,000 by AGCO
- DraftKings did not properly obey the Ontario sports betting laws when it comes to advertising and inducements
- Read below to find out how they got the fine and what’s happening to other ON online sportsbooks
Earlier this week DraftKings Ontario was fined $100,000 by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). It is said that they were fined after certain standards were not met involving issues of advertising and inducements that Ontario sports betting markets had put in place.
DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario Fined by AGCO
Ontario online sports betting only recently launched on April 4, 2022, and DraftKings Ontario followed shortly after the launch as BetMGM Ontario and a few others were first to market. So after only a few months of legal online sports betting, DraftKings Ontario has already been faced with its first fine. The AGCO released a statement explaining the reason for this fine is “in order to protect the public interest and ensure Ontario’s iGaming market operates responsibly and with integrity”.
— Gaming Intelligence (@GamingIntell) July 1, 2022
The advertisement in question that created this scandal was a promotion inducing bettors of a boosted 2-1 odds. This ad was posted all over social media as well as broadcasted on television. The AGCO created clear restrictions for Ontario sports betting apps when it comes to advertising inducements. No sportsbook in Ontario can promote advertisements of bonuses or that sway bettors in a certain direction with a promotion. So when DraftKings promoted these boosted odds to Ontario sports bettors, the AGCO got involved.
What Are the Advertising Rules in Ontario Sports Betting Markets?
The AGCO has created many rules as well as different strategies for sportsbooks when it comes to advertising to bettors. One of the strategies most used is the allocation of funds. DraftKings puts about $150 million per quarter towards marketing and advertising expenses.
Ontario gambling regulator just dropped proposed rules for sports betting in Canada's biggest provincial market.
"The good news is that the AGCO will not be restricting products: betting exchanges, DFS, eSports, and live in-game wagering will all be permitted." https://t.co/MtsqG5J1wB
— Geoff Zochodne (@GeoffZochodne) July 28, 2021
When it comes to the rules sportsbooks must follow, here is where things get difficult.
Sportsbooks, such as DraftKings or Caesars Sportsbook are allowed to advertise inducements, bonuses, and boosted odds. However, they can only do this on their gaming site.
When sportsbooks advertise this over platforms such as social media and television, is when they could get in trouble. The AGCO also looks for sportsbooks to promote a safe and responsible gaming environment for bettors. Some of the factors sportsbooks should avoid are deceptive advertising, excessive play, inappropriate advertising or not providing bettors with any risks and resources that come with online betting.
If Ontario sportsbooks fail to follow any of these rules, then they may face similar fines to DraftKings.
Have Other Ontario Sportsbooks Been Fined?
Back in May 2022, two other Ontario sportsbooks were fined for similar issues. PointsBet Ontario and BetMGM Ontario both faced fines for advertising infractions.
PointsBet Ontario was fined $30,000 for the same reasons as DraftKings. They were involved in the advertising of inducements on other platforms from their gaming site.
BetMGM was fined $48,000 for breaking this same violation, as well as breaking the rule that sportsbook operators in Ontario online sports betting markets must be truthful, must not mislead bettors, or imply the chances of winning by spending more money.