What Do You DO? Why Ontario Gambling Operators Want To Know Your Job

Written By Robyn McNeil on April 13, 2022 - Last Updated on May 27, 2022
Group of Diverse Multiethnic People with Different Jobs

On day one, I had maybe three Ontario online operator registrations under my belt when I first wondered, ‘Is this how this usually works?’

At the time, things were going smoothly on all counts. It’s not like I encountered some weird registration roadblock that prompted me to question what was ‘normal’ or not.

However, at that moment, I suddenly realized these were my first ever online casino and sportsbook registrations. On top of that, they were happening in Ontario’s brand-spanking-new market. I had no frame of reference for what would be either ‘old hat’ or remarkable, so I reached out to see what I could find out.

Turns out I was right to wonder how Ontario’s registration process compared to other jurisdictions.

Here’s why.

No social insurance number required for registration, but …

As feedback started to roll in from the trenches, it became apparent that bits of Ontario’s registration process do stand out.

The main difference between Ontario and US jurisdictions: operators in Ontario aren’t asking for proof of social insurance (social security in the US). They do, however, ask about work and employers.

For the most part, anyway.

So, while I didn’t have to trade my SIN for access to Ontario’s newly regulated online platforms, I had to share basic details about what I do.

And here, honestly, is where things get amusing.

It’s not so much the ask I found funny, more the execution.

Perhaps my launch-week exhaustion added to my inclination for amusement. But whether or not that’s true, I certainly found myself entertained again while digging around in preparation for this story.

Like many aspects of Ontario’s online gambling regulation, the regulator leaves operators up to their own devices rather than prescribe how things get done. As long as they arrive at the right destination (in this case, the player’s occupation), exactly how you get there seems less critical.

But you’ll see what I mean shortly.

Who really wants to know what I do for work?

PlayCanada reached out to iGaming Ontario and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (and several operators) to inquire about the occupational ask early into launch week.

Yesterday, we received a reply from Max Monahan-Ellison, senior counsel at Veritas Communications, on behalf of iGO. Veritas is the agency supporting iGO’s media response.

According to iGO (via Monahan-Ellison), the occupations ask is a regulatory requirement under the Proceeds of Crime Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act and must be collected at registration.

“iGO does not specify how the operators are to collect this information as long as it is done so in a manner that complies with Canada’s federal AML regulator FINTRAC,” said Monahan-Ellison.

“IGO does provide some guidance on what constitutes a descriptive occupation (i.e., job title and industry) and provides some examples of non-sufficient occupations in the iGO AML/ATF Job Aid Manual,” he added.

The butcher, baker, candlestick maker

So, now we know why operators are collecting our occupational deets.

But that doesn’t explain the decision-making processes around the ‘how’ many operators have put in place.

I’m sure it has everything to do with ensuring the information collected meets federal requirements, but the drop-down lists some operators are using leave much desired.

In some cases, finding an occupation that fits is the problem. It worked out in the end. But it took multiple tries to select “managing editor” as a role when registering for BetMGM Ontario.

On the other hand, the myriad of occupations during sign-up at BetRivers was distracting. Choices like abbot and acidiser, feller and fettler, taxidermist and teaser?

Let’s just say I have some questions about exactly what many of my fellow Canadians do.

What about operators who don’t ask what your job is?

However, perhaps most concerning are operators that don’t seem to ask the question at all. Remember: according to iGO, operators require a ‘descriptive occupation’ at registration to comply with federal law.

So far, I’ve only encountered one operator that failed to ask about employment altogether.

At this point, I wonder if that was a simple oversight in a rush to launch. I also wonder what penalties operators could face if discovered to be non-compliant? I’ll let you know if I hear back from my follow-up with iGO.

In the meantime, I’ll be spending far too much time wondering how many Canadians classify themselves as a ‘Talapoin?” For those that don’t know, talapoin is species of old-world monkeys.

Also, what the heck is a spinner-squeezer?

If you happen to know, hit me up on Twitter, my DMs are open.

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Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor. She lives in Halifax in an empty nest with a mischievous cat and a penchant for good stories, strong tea, cheeseburgers, yoga, graveyards, hammocks, gardening, games, herb, and hoppy beer.

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