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.
G. H. Moretto is the Editor at New Casinos.com and Nyecasino.org, also an expert in advertising and casino content with a passion for blackjack tables. He has managed research, content writing, translations and holds a degree in Social Communication with honours in Advertising, bringing to the table a decade of experience in the advertising and online gambling industries combined. Moretto was also directly involved in a Child Gambling project in the UK, which was discussed with several MPs to bring forward legislation changes to protect children. He has reviewed thousands of online casinos, slots and casino games and he definitely knows his way around bonuses, payment methods and trends. This casino enthusiast is an Editor at NewCasinos.com on a mission to reveal all the secrets of the industry with in-depth and unbiased reviews. Moretto aims to educate new and seasoned players about the risks and rewards of all new casinos, their bonuses and features to help players make better-informed decisions.More info on G. H. Moretto