Specifically, the penalty is for “alleged infractions” of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, said the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
Standard 2.05 prohibits marketing materials that “communicate gambling inducements, bonuses and credits,” except on an operator’s website or – once a player has given their consent – through direct advertising.
However, Unibet allegedly broke this rule by posting or airing multiple “broad gambling inducements” between 19 and 22 May. These promoted “generous welcome offers,” the AGCO said.
“We expect all registered operators to achieve and maintain the high standards of responsible gambling, player protection and game integrity,” remarked Tom Mungham, the AGCO’s Chief Executive and Registrar.
“The AGCO will continue to monitor these gaming sites’ activities, and ensure they are meeting their obligations under Ontario’s Gaming Control Act and the Standards.”
The AGCO went on to issue a more general caution to operators, stating: “The Standards were put in place to protect Ontarians.
It added: “Ontario strictly prohibits broad public advertising of bonuses and other gambling inducements, and the AGCO will continue to take regulatory action.”
Unibet may appeal to the aptly named Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT), an adjudicative body independent of the AGCO.
Several other betting brands have been issued fines in Ontario. In May, BetMGM Canada and PointsBet received penalties totalling CA$48,000 and CA$30,000, respectively. Even more recently, DraftKings Canada was fined CA$100,000.
Like Unibet, these operators received penalties for breaching Ontario’s rules on marketing and inducements.