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iGaming Ontario to Request Proposals for a Centralized Self-Exclusion Solution in Early 2024

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iGaming Ontario (iGO)’s vision is to lead the world’s best gaming market, which includes building a safer and more enjoyable experience for all igaming players in Ontario. To support players who decide to stop or take a break from gambling, iGO is going to issue a request for proposals (RFP) in early 2024 for a centralized self-exclusion solution that will enable a player to self-exclude from all Ontario regulated igaming operators in a single registration process.

Given the coordinated nature of the program across all regulated igaming operators, including Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG)’s igaming site, the successful bidder will be expected to develop and implement a centralized self-exclusion system that integrates with all operator systems and supports players’ self-exclusion registration, renewal, and reinstatement.

The following are iGO’s principles for centralized self-exclusion:

PLAYER FOCUSED – to provide options to players to support their commitment to take a break, to ensure processes are easy to use with minimal barriers and challenges, and to offer a seamless connection to relevant support services.

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SUPPORTIVE – to deliver and execute the program in a non-stigmatized, non-judgmental manner; to be supportive and encouraging so that players feel good about registering in self-exclusion.

TRANSPARENT – to ensure expectations and consequences for players and Operators are clear and information is comprehensive and well-promoted.

SECURE – to ensure player information is securely protected and shared only with relevant employees for the purposes of administering the program.

ROBUST – to implement strong processes and procedures bolstered by secure, responsive, and highly available technology to enable an effective program that supports a player’s goals.

VIABLE – to develop systems and procedures that are manageable and practical for Operators to implement.

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With these principles in mind, iGO is seeking interest from responsive and nimble companies that are able to build modern, innovative, secure cloud-based SaaS solutions that are high-profile, public-facing and critically important to building and maintaining the trust and confidence of a wide range of stakeholders. The successful bidder will partner with iGO on a multi-year program to develop best-in-class user experiences by leveraging modern, innovative technology.

Some features for an effective centralized self-exclusion solution include:

  • Allowing players to create and manage their self-exclusion profile and including Know Your Client (KYC) identity verification
  • Providing players with easy access to self-exclusion at any time including while they are gambling on any regulated igaming website
  • Having registration, renewal, and reinstatement processes that are intuitive, simple and offer supporting information.

Canada

Greo and CCSA Release New Report Named “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action”

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The report “Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action” looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s. We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increase in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University.

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

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  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide. We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy,” Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA, said.

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Canada

Call for a National Strategy to Address Gambling-Related Harms in Wake of Sports Betting Boom

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Recent gambling policy changes in Canada have led to increased opportunities to legally bet on sports and gamble online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Released today, Gambling Availability and Advertising in Canada: A Call to Action looks at the impacts of legal gambling in Canada since the approval of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in 2021. The report recommends developing a pan-Canadian strategy to address gambling-related harms. This is a new report by Greo Evidence Insights (Greo) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).

This call to action is in response to the significant increase in gambling advertising on billboards, social media, at commercial breaks during sports broadcasts and during sporting events. Increased gambling availability and advertising are expected to contribute to increased gambling in Canada, thereby posing a significant risk of harms among the general population, particularly for youth, young adults and other vulnerable populations.

The report also describes how the increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are of great concern because:

  • The types of gambling being made available and promoted (single-event sports betting and live or in-play betting) are associated with a greater risk of harm. For example, single-event sports betting increases gambling intensity and gives an illusion of control over the outcome as people believe their knowledge of the game gives them a competitive edge.
  • The volume of gambling advertisements repeatedly pairing sports with betting normalizes gambling, leading people to think of betting as an integral part of being a sports fan.
  • Increased availability of gambling and in gambling advertising are happening at a time when many people in Canada are more vulnerable to problematic gambling and gambling-related harms because of the lingering health impacts of COVID-19 and a rise in the cost of living.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed some of the most significant changes in gambling policy since the 1970s,” explained Dr. Matthew Young, Chief Research Officer at Greo, Senior Research Associate at the CCSA and Adjunct Professor at Carleton University. “We have seen a massive increase in gambling advertising and opportunities to gamble. We can no longer watch sports with our kids or go online without being subjected to an overwhelming amount of gambling advertising. Canada is at a critical moment in how it manages gambling. A national strategy or framework — similar to what we have for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis — is critical to manage the expected increased in gambling harm, especially among youth and other vulnerable people.”

The report recommends developing a national strategy that will:

  • Develop national standards governing the promotion and availability of gambling;
  • Manage conflicts of interest among gambling stakeholders;
  • Address inadequate funding for gambling harm prevention and reduction initiatives and research;
  • Monitor systematic changes in gambling-related harm, including any assessments of the social and economic costs of gambling; and
  • Increase awareness of gambling-related harms among health and social service professionals and the public.

“Increased gambling among people living in Canada will undoubtebly result in increased harms and therefore increased societal costs. These include healthcare costs, criminal-justice costs, child welfare costs, increased unemployment and lost productivity costs because of gambling-related suicide,” says Dr. Pam Kent, Director of Research and Emerging Trends at CCSA. “We need to think about our approach and ensure that it considers not only short-term government revenue and economic activity but also the longer-term societal costs. That’s why we need a national strategy.”

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AGCO

Edict Egaming Secures Approval for Ontario Licence

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Edict egaming has received approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to provide its games for the online casino market in the Canadian province. This applies to both the German edict egaming GmbH and Edict Malta Limited. From now on, the Merkur Group subsidiary will be able to offer its popular Merkur slots in one of the largest North American markets.

“We are delighted to have received AGCO approval for our Merkur games in Ontario. This is definitely a big step for edict and we are very excited to showcase ourselves to new audiences on the global stage in this dynamic market,” Dominic-Daniel Liénard, CEO of edict egaming GmbH, said.

The AGCO is working with the Government of Ontario and iGaming Ontario (iGO) to establish a new online gaming market that helps protect consumers gambling through private gaming companies. This license certifies that edict operates within the framework of strict laws and meets the requirements for responsible gaming.

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