We’re pretty used to seeing various celebrities and athletes in promotional videos and commercials for many types of gambling and online casino games.

However, in Ontario, everything points out that they couldn’t be seen in such a context anymore. Athletes and celebrities in Ontario will probably be banned from appearing in commercials of online gambling operators. 

The impact on youth:

The reason that lies behind that proposal is the fact that these commercials can negatively affect youth and children, who often look up to famous people. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) in Ontario proposed the ban in order to minimize the impact on youngsters.

Among the various duties the Crown agency possesses in the province, probably the most important is to carefully monitor the risks associated with the gambling industry and identify them. They have to update the standards in order to reduce the risks and avoid damage as much as possible.

Ads without athletes, celebrities, influencers – and cartoon characters:

AGCO announced that decision on Thursday in its online post: “The AGCO has identified advertising and marketing approaches that strongly appeal to persons who are under the legal gaming age through the use of celebrities and/or athletes. Concern regarding the potential harmful impact on the most vulnerable population, underage persons, remains high.”

Among the famous athletes that took part in online sports betting promotions are Auston Matthews from Toronto Maple Leafs and Connor McDavid from Edmonton Oilers. However, even the existing campaigns that feature athletes, both active and retired, will be banned from all channels, as AGCO claims. All operators and suppliers will be prohibited from launching advertising campaigns or any marketing activities with celebrities and athletes without exception.

But these two professions aren’t the only ones that will be banned. The ban will include other categories such as cartoon figures, symbols, any kind of role models, and social media influencers or entertainers. AGCO fears that all of them can affect minors and help them find the gambling industry even more appealing.

Safe environment for everyone:

The AGCO claims: “Since the introduction in April 2022 of a new internet gaming market in Ontario, a key objective has been to create a safe, competitive, and well-regulated igaming environment for the people of Ontario. From the outset, the AGCO has indicated that it would assess and update the regulatory framework as the market evolves.”

The proposal has been filed, and stakeholders have until May 8 to decide whether they want to implement the changes in the gambling laws. If it is approved, the operators and suppliers will have three months to implement the new law into their businesses, which provides them enough time to find an adequate solution.