AGCO Appoints Dr. Karin Schnarr As New CEO And Registrar

Written By Matthew Lomon on August 22, 2023 - Last Updated on August 23, 2023
Dr. Karin Schnarr

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s search for a new leader is finally over.

On Monday, the province’s regulator of all things gaming, liquor, and cannabis introduced Dr. Karin Schnarr as its new chief executive officer and registrar. Schnarr will replace the incumbent, Tom Mungham, who announced plans to retire from the agency in March of this year. According to the AGCO’s blog post, Schnarr will assume her position on Sept. 18.

The AGCO’s new boss took to LinkedIn to express her excitement and gratitude ahead of the big day.

“[I’m] excited to be joining a strong and vibrant organization that works every day to ensure consumer protection, efficient business practices, and a people first focus,” said Schnarr. “My sincere thanks to the Board for this opportunity. I am aware of the large shoes I will be filling of retiring AGCO CEO Tom Mungham. Looking forward to taking on this role and can’t wait to get started.”

Schnarr brings extensive experience and diverse background to AGCO

Instead of hiring from its existing executive team, the ACGO’s board of directors went with a highly distinguished external candidate. Schnarr’s extensive résumé features a remarkable mix of both academic accomplishment and professional experience.

Prior to joining the AGCO, Schnarr most recently held several roles at Wilfrid Laurier University, including associate professor, strategic management at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. Her ties to the Waterloo institution run even deeper, as she also served on its board of governors and senate.

The recipient of degrees from three separate Ontario universities is no stranger to working within the provincial government. Schnarr’s tenure at Queen’s Park saw her serve as chief of staff to ministers in multiple portfolios. She was also chair of the Ontario Government’s Task Force on Women and the Economy, and a member of iGaming Ontario’s Board of Directors.

Schnarr’s interdisciplinary experience will prove invaluable as Ontario’s sports betting and online casino market continues to evolve.

AGCO’s new leader may have to answer old question

In April, the AGCO declared its intent to ban athletes and celebrities from appearing in online advertisements. Fast forward four months, and the situation remains unresolved.

Based on the latest rumblings, it seemed we’d get an answer at the beginning of July. However, with Schnarr not stepping in until mid-September, the AGCO could extend the process until her input is gathered. That said, the provincial government also has the authority to step in before then and adjudicate the matter itself.

Regardless of when or how a decision comes about, the AGCO’s focus currently lies with the news of the day:

“The AGCO and its Board of Directors are excited to welcome Dr. Schnarr to the organization and extend their sincere gratitude and appreciation to AGCO’s outgoing CEO and registrar, Tom Mungham, who announced his intention to retire from the agency in March 2023,” the regulator said in a release.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Matthew Lomon

Matthew Lomon has been a contributor at Catena Media’s network of regional sites since July 2022. He first broke into covering the legal North American gambling industry with PlayCanada. Since then, Matthew's reporting has extended to PlayMichigan, PlayPennsylvania, and PlayIllinois. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew is an avid (bordering on fanatic) sports fan.

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