Unibet Hit by $48,000 Fine in Ontario

Unibet hit by $48,000 penalty for advertising breaches in Ontario

Online gambling giant Unibet has been hit by a financial penalty of $48,000 by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for advertising violations.

The leading sportsbook and casino brand that forms part of the Stockholm-listed company Kindred, known for its efforts to curb harmful gambling, has only been active in the Ontario online gambling space since April when the market became available.

Similar to other US and European casino operators, Unibet has been actively marketing its presence ever since the market launch.

Tom Mungham, Chief Executive Office and Registrar of the AGCO, stated: “We expect all registered operators to achieve and maintain the high standards of responsible gambling, player protection, and game integrity.”

“The AGCO will continue monitoring these gaming sites’ activities and ensure they meet their obligations under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act and the Standards.”

The penalty was related to advertising, with AGCO stating that Unibet had posted multiple brand betting inducements whilst promoting generous welcome bonus offers between May 19th and 22nd.

This penalty was issued due to a breach of the province’s Standard 205, which states that “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”.

Before the market launch took place on April 4th, AGCO had been actively informing all online gambling operators that inducements were defined as any promotion offer that encourages gambling activity. This includes sign-up bonus offers, deposit offers, boosted odds, refund/cashback deals, winnings paid on losing bets, and multi-bet offers, amongst others.

As it stands, Unibet has the right to appeal the AGCO charge to the Licence Appeal Tribunal. The commission further added that Ontario’s “iGaming regulatory framework exists in part to ensure Ontario’s iGaming market achieves high standards in such important areas as responsible gambling, protection of minors, and game integrity”,

The AGCO has further reinstated and added that all online gambling operators interested in providing gambling services in the area are strictly prohibited from publicly advertising any bonuses or other gambling inducements.