DraftKings fined by Ontario’s regulator for alleged ads and inducement breaches

As it enters its third month in activity, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced it has served DraftKings with an Order of Monetary Penalty totaling CAD 100,000 ($76,400) for alleged infractions of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, pertaining to advertising and inducements. 

Contrary to the provincial sports betting market standards, between May 19, 2022, and May 31, 2022, DraftKings posted or aired “multiple broad gambling inducements,” including advertisements of boosted odds. The promotion was distributed widely via television and social media channels. 

The Standards include clear restrictions on the advertising of inducements, bonuses or credits, except when they are on an operator’s site or through direct advertising and marketing issued after receiving active player consent, an AGCO statement explains.

Ontario strictly prohibits broad public advertising of bonuses and other gambling inducements. As a registered operator served with an Order of Monetary Penalty by the AGCO, DraftKings now has the right to appeal the Registrar’s action to the License Appeal Tribunal, an adjudicative tribunal that is part of Tribunals Ontario. 

Tom Mungham, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar at AGCO, spoke about this penalty and said: “The AGCO will continue to monitor the activities of all registered operators and hold them to high standards of responsible gambling, player protection and game integrity. It is in the public interest that we ensure they are meeting their obligations under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act and the Standards.”

This is the third regulatory action related to advertising violations that Ontario’s regulator has taken since the market launched in early April. Both PointsBet and BetMGM were fined last month, receiving CA$30,000 and CA$48,000 penalties respectively for inducement breaches.

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