Ontario online casino operator Apollo Entertainment has been slapped with $100,000 in fines. Apollo allegedly failed to meet the province’s responsible gambling requirements.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced the penalties last week. In a release, the AGCO said Apollo allegedly, “failed to conduct required interventions with players who may be experiencing gambling related harms. This included the case of a player experiencing over $2 million in losses in under four months without receiving interventions from the gaming site operator during that period.”
The AGCO alleged Apollo also:
- Failed to implement an adequate voluntary self-exclusion program, as well as providing insufficient tools for players to set financial and time-based gambling limits (i.e., loss and deposit limits).
- Failed to ensure their employees understood the importance of responsible gambling, including assisting players who may be experiencing gambling related harms
In the release, AGCO CEO Tom Mungham said:
“The AGCO’s goal is to ensure Ontarians can enjoy online gambling on sites that operate fairly, responsibly and provide important player protections. All registered operators have an obligation to proactively monitor patron play for signs of high-risk gambling, and must take appropriate actions to intervene and reduce the potential for gambling-related harm.”
Apollo has the right to appeal the fines to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT), which is an adjudicative tribunal independent of the AGCO and part of Tribunals Ontario.
No word, yet, if Apollo plans to appeal. But the AGCO said the operator, “has been responsive to the AGCO’s regulatory findings since being advised of these issues and has already taken significant steps to strengthen the control environment on its sites to address the shortcomings identified by the AGCO.”
Apollo operates seven online casino sites in Ontario
Apollo Entertainment operates the following Ontario online casino sites:
- Captain Cooks
- Casino Classic
- Golden Tiger Casino
- Grand Mondial Casino
- Luxury Casino
- Yukon Gold Casino
- Zodiac Casino
The sites went live on Oct. 28, 2022 after receiving a license from the AGCO and signing an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario.
AGCO has levied $378,000 in fines in 16 months
The fine issued to Apollo matches the biggest fine the AGCO has issued to an operator.
By PlayCanada’s count, this is the fifth round of fines issued by the AGCO since the legal Ontario online gambling market opened on April 4, 2022. AGCO fines to online gambling operators are now believed to total $378,000.
In June, the AGCO fined BV Gaming and Fitzdares Canada each $15,000 for offering bets on major junior hockey. The two Ontario sportsbooks stand accused of taking “numerous” wagers on Canadian Hockey League games during the 2022-23 season.
In April, the AGCO handed out a total of $70,000 in fines to three online casino operators. ComeOn, Conquestador, and LeoVegas allegedly provided games on their sites “not approved by the AGCO Registrar nor certified by an Independent Testing Laboratory registered by the Registrar.”
In July of 2022, the AGCO slapped DraftKings with a $100,000 fine. DK was alleged to have broken AGCO policies on advertised inducements.
In May of 2022, one month after the online gambling market opened, the AGCO levied $78,000 in total fines to BetMGM Canada ($48,000) and PointsBet Canada ($30,000) for similar infractions of the AGCO’s advertising and inducement rules.
Open Ontario market comes with large regulatory presence
The Ontario online gambling sector is truly open. Currently 50 operators offer 80 different gaming sites offer online casinos, sports betting, poker, bingo and even one betting exchange.
Yet, the AGCO enforces strict standards on advertising and responsible gambling.