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Canada

AGCO Requires Ontario Gaming Operators to Stop Offering WBA Bets Due to Integrity Concerns

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The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has mandated all Ontario-registered sportsbook operators to halt offering and accepting wagers on World Boxing Association (WBA) events immediately. This measure is being taken to protect the Ontario betting public following concerns that WBA-sanctioned boxing matches are not adequately being safeguarded against match-fixing and insider betting.

Since December 2023, the AGCO has been conducting a comprehensive review of suspicious wagering activity on a WBA-sanctioned title fight between Yoenis Tellez and Livan Navarro that was held in Orlando, Florida. Suspicious betting patterns on the bout lasting over 5.5 rounds were reported to the AGCO by two registered independent integrity monitors and detected in Ontario by a registered igaming operator. Media reports also alleged that Tellez’s Manager placed $110,000 on the match lasting longer than 5.5 rounds at a Florida casino. The bout ended with Tellez knocking out Navarro in the 10th round.

Following an intensive review that included outreach to the WBA, Ontario-registered gaming operators, independent integrity monitors, and regulators in other jurisdictions, the AGCO has concluded that bets related to WBA events do not currently meet the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming.

The AGCO requires all Ontario-registered gaming operators to ensure the sport betting products they offer are on events that are effectively supervised by a sport governing body. At a minimum, the sport governing body must have and enforce codes of conduct that prohibit betting by insiders.

Registered gaming operators were unable to demonstrate to the AGCO that the WBA prohibits betting from insiders, which could include an athlete’s coaches, managers, handlers, athletic trainers, medical professionals, or others with access to non-public information. Further, registered gaming operators were unable to demonstrate that the WBA took any action to investigate or enforce the allegations of potential match-fixing and insider wagering.

The AGCO has indicated to registered operators that in order for WBA betting products to be reinstated in Ontario, operators must demonstrate that the WBA effectively supervises its events, thus bringing them into compliance with the Registrar’s Standards. In December 2022, the AGCO required gaming operators to stop offering bets on UFC events for similar issues related to insider betting safeguards. Within a month, UFC amended its policies and implemented new protocols that allowed the AGCO to reinstate betting on UFC events in the province.

“Ontarians who wish to bet on sporting events need to be confident that those events are fairly run, and that clear integrity safeguards are in place and enforced by an effective sport governing body. Knowing the popularity of boxing in Ontario, we look forward to reinstating betting on WBA events once appropriate safeguards against possible match-fixing and insider betting have been confirmed,” Dr. Karin Schnarr, Registrar and CEO of AGCO, said.

Canada

Play’n GO announces partnership with Canadian operator Loto-Québec

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Play’n GO announces partnership with Canadian operator Loto-Québec

 

Play’n GO, the world’s leading casino entertainment provider, has today announced a partnership with Canadian operator Loto-Québec, launching the Swedish gaming giant’s games into another Canadian province.

Already active in another Canadian province , this partnership sees Play’n GO’s content available in the province of Québec exclusively with Loto-Québec, a state-owned corporation, where online players now have access to titles such as Tome of Madness. 

Magnus Olsson, Chief Commercial Officer, Play’n GO said: “At Play’n GO, we have always been clear in our vision to be active in every regulated market in the world, and this partnership with Loto-Québec is the next step on that journey.

“Our past success in Canada gives us confidence that players in Québec will enjoy the best Play’n GO content, and we look forward to many years of success with Loto-Québec in the province.”

Stéphane Martel, Head of Product and Innovation at Loto-Québec added: “As the sole iGaming operator in Québec, we pride ourselves on offering titles that truly add value to our platform, lotoquebec.com. We are happy to bring Play’n GO games to our players.”

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Canada

Court Decision Upholds iGaming Ontario’s Model

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iGaming Ontario has welcomed the decision of the Ontario Superior Court, which found that iGaming Ontario’s model is consistent with the Criminal Code and that iGaming Ontario is conducting and managing igaming in the province.

“We have always been confident in our model and are pleased that the court has ruled in our favour, and that Ontarians can continue to play with confidence in our regulated igaming market,” said Martha Otton, Executive Director of iGaming Ontario.

“Ontario’s model meets the requirements and contributes to the public good by protecting players, their data and their funds, while helping to fund priority public services in Ontario, and bringing well-paid, high-tech jobs and economic development to Ontario,” Otton added.

In dismissing the application brought forward by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK), the Superior Court found that iGaming Ontario is the “operating mind” behind Ontario’s competitive igaming market in accordance with the conduct and manage requirements of the Criminal Code.

iGaming Ontario will continue to conduct and manage igaming as it has since the launch of the regulated market on April 4, 2022.

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Canada

Bragg Gaming Appoints Renowned iGaming Executive Neill Whyte as Chief Commercial Officer

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Bragg Gaming Group, a global iGaming technology and content provider, announced that Neill Whyte has been appointed as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), effective 1st May 2024, establishing a new global commercial structure at the Company and bolstering its leadership team.

Whyte brings over 18 years of experience in the iGaming sector, most recently in the role of Chief Commercial Officer at Digital Gaming Corporation’s (DGC), B2B iGaming Division. After joining DGC in early 2020, he was responsible for the commercially successful launch and growth of its content distribution business in the US.

Prior to joining DGC, Whyte held multiple positions in the gaming industry including as Head of Business Development at Isle of Man-based iGaming specialist Apricot Investments, as Board Member at Swedish iGaming product and Lottery content distributor Genera Networks, and in various senior roles over eleven years at leading iGaming content supplier Microgaming, including as Head of Product Channels.

In his new role with Bragg, Whyte will be tasked with leading the Company’s global commercial teams to drive growth across all of the Company’s product verticals which include proprietary online casino content from its Atomic Slot Lab, Indigo Magic and Wild Streak Gaming studios, exclusive content from content partners, HUB a leading casino content aggregation platform, Fuze player engagement, as well as its award-winning player account management (PAM) platform and turnkey solutions.

Matevž Mazij, Chief Executive Officer at Bragg, said: “I am very pleased to be announcing today the appointment of Neill Whyte as Chief Commercial Officer at Bragg. His iGaming product and market knowledge, together with his record in driving growth from developing successful and mutually beneficial commercial partnerships are exceptional.

“As we leverage our broad content and product portfolio to grow in existing and new markets, including in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe, Neill’s unique combination of knowledge, skills and experience in this sector are a perfect fit for our ambitions at Bragg.”

Neill Whyte, Chief Commercial Officer at Bragg, said: “It’s an honor to join Matevž and the wider teams at Bragg already in place across North America, Europe and in India. I have been impressed with the depth and quality of the content, product and technology offerings at Bragg, and its ability to rapidly adapt, certify and deploy this content and technology in newly regulated markets is a distinct advantage.

“We also have a huge opportunity to grow our footprint with our existing customers in markets in which we are already established. Our content and product roadmaps are second to none, and I’m planning to get on the road in the coming weeks and months to meet the team and our customers and to start building for the next stage of mutual growth. I can’t wait to get going.”

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