Gambler loses $500K in under 3 months, no intervention taken by online operator: AGCO

Global News
Gambler loses $500K in under 3 months, no intervention taken by online operator: AGCO
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Ontario’s gaming regulator has fined PointsBet after several alleged violations, including one in which a player reportedly lost more than $500,000 in less than three months with “no interventions” from the site.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced on Thursday a penalty totalling $150,000 against PointsBet Canada Operations 1 Inc. “for failing to meet Ontario’s responsible gambling requirements.”

The AGCO said the fine relates to several alleged violations of responsible gambling provisions.

One allegedly involved “failing to appropriately intervene and provide assistance to a player who was potentially experiencing gambling harms.”

A player had lost more than $500,000 in under three months, the AGCO said.

The player had been repeatedly flagged as possibly high-risk by the operator’s systems, including because of making repeated withdrawal cancellations and having significant losses, the AGCO said.

“Despite this, no interventions were provided by the gaming site operator during that period,” the regulator alleged.

Other alleged violations include communicating gambling inducements, bonuses or credits through direct advertising without active player consent and failing to enforce the 24-hour cooling-off period when the player cancelled their per-day deposit limit.

The AGCO alleged that PointsBet failed to ensure that employees “understood the importance of responsible gambling and were adequately trained to respond appropriately to, and assist, players who may be experiencing harm from gambling,” as demonstrated by those reported incidents.

“In Ontario, iGaming operators have an obligation to proactively monitor their patrons’ play for signs of high-risk gambling, and to take appropriate actions to intervene and reduce the potential for gambling-related harms,” AGCO CEO and registrar Karin Schnarr said.

“The AGCO will continue to focus on player protection by holding all registered operators to these high standards.”

The AGCO noted that PointsBet has the right to appeal at an independent tribunal.