April 4, 2022, is a big day for Ontarians — that is when legal, regulated online poker, casinos, and sportsbooks can go live in Ontario and take their first legal wagers in the province.
Although there is no definite idea of who exactly will launch with real money games on that date, we do know that top-tier operators such as BetRivers, Unibet, 888, and FanDuel have obtained licenses and are planning to launch on or around next month’s go-live date. Their licenses allow them to offer a mix of online gambling options to players come April 4 and most will not want to wait and be late to the party.
Responsible gambling is a key AGCO priority and central to the public interestThe Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) oversees all of the regulations in the province. As such, they hold operators accountable, making sure that they offer safe and fair games and adhere to the best responsible gambling practices.
The AGCO has released detailed information on the responsible gambling measures that operators must offer their players. In order to be approved to launch, the AGCO requires that operators provide a suite of built-in responsibly gambling tools that players can easily access, both at the registration stage and also once they are established players.
“Responsible gambling is a key AGCO priority and central to the public interest,” it reads on the responsible gambling pages of the AGCO. “The intent of this risk theme is to ensure that gaming is provided in a way that seeks to minimize potential harm and promote a responsible gaming environment.”
The responsible gambling tools operators are required to have in order to launch are:
- Deposit Limits
- Loss Limits
- Time Limits
- Gaming Limits
All of these tools allow players to stay in control of how much money and time they spend on a site and can be used as part of a holistic approach to managing gambling behavior. They can also be used as a stand-alone way to control gambling.
The intent of this risk theme is to ensure that gaming is provided in a way that seeks to minimize potential harm and promote a responsible gaming environmentDeposit limits allow a player to set a maximum amount they can deposit on the site. This can be further restricted by day, week, or month. Once the user hits that limit, they won’t be able to deposit any more funds into their account until that time period lapses and a new one begins.
Loss Limits allow a player to set the maximum amount they are prepared to lose, once this figure is hit, play will be stopped.
Time and Gaming Limits allow a player to set a maximum amount of time they are able to stay on a site. Some operators even break this out by game type so that a player can set a maximum amount of time they are allowed to stay at one game.
The AGCO stipulates that all operators much provide players with the option of being able to self-exclude from their sites. Self-exclusion means that a player can effectively ban themselves from being able to play on a site for a selected period of time.
Self-exclusion usually lasts between six months, one year, five years, or a lifetime ban and during that time, the online casino cannot incentivize a player to gamble with promotions or special offers. Self-exclusion is usually the most effective responsible gambling tool in a player’s toolbox — as it is a sure-fire way of not being to log into a site and spend any money.
For comprehensive information on the responsible gambling tools at US online casinos, check out our Casino Shield Guide