Gambling on Boxing in Ontario, Canada: Navigating the Current Regulatory Landscape
Ontario sports betting is regulated by the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario),
with Registrar’s Standards for Gaming outlining the legal requirements operators must meet to
be allowed in the market.
Based on CasinoBonusCA’s data on the matter, in 2023 there are 60 online casino sitesand 26
betting sites with an active ACGO license.
Since there aren’t currently any particular regulations concerning boxing bets, it’s enough for
fans to become familiar with the general betting rules. Thus:
Ontario betting rules applicable to boxing: The Player’s Guide
Bill C-218 has recently eliminated the Criminal Code prohibition of sports betting on single events. Passed in 2021, the amendment permits pool selling and bookmaking, as well as the making & recording of wagers placed through a pari-mutuel system or pool.
Ontario residents now have access to a market where they can place boxing bets online, and in person, as long as the bookie they register with is licensed by the AGCO.
However, players must be 19 years of age or older to achieve this. Verified operators will check this by imposing the completion of a KYC procedure. This means you must provide several documents that clearly state your age, including your ID or passport.
Besides complying with the standard Anti-Money Laundering policies and other similar regulations, there isn’t anything else you should abide by when betting on boxing matches.
What do boxing betting operators have to comply with?
While you won’t find any betting operators specializing exclusively in boxing, it will be an option you can choose from most bookmakers. However, the situation is much different for them, as operators have strict conditions to abide by to remain active in the Ontario market.
With the establishment of iGaming Ontario, several marketing regulations drastically limit operators' activity. The most poignant interdiction is that of bonus advertisements: operators are not allowed to market any inducements or promotions outside their channels, with direct marketing being the sole exception.
Even so, the promotion of betting, including boxing betting, is not forbidden: the ad has to refer to the service itself and include a responsible iGaming message.
Operators must also be proactive with those showing problem gambling/gambling addiction symptoms. All casino and sportsbook employees must be trained to identify the named signs to achieve this.
Lastly, operators have to make any modifications in odds public and readily available for all bettors, whether they take place before or during the boxing event.
What about the recent UFC ban on betting?
Recently, Ontario prohibited bettors from placing wagers on UFC matches. This led to confusion, so a few explanations are in order.
In December 2022, AGCO required betting service providers to stop allowing their users to bet on UFC events. The cause for this result from recent statements led to the conclusion that UFC insiders may have been allowed to bet on occasions they’re involved.
Thus, the measure was taken to avoid match-fixing and insider wagers. However, UFC has taken action in the meantime: firstly, they changed their policy to prohibit such activities. In addition, they partnered with a sports integrity monitor, which notifies inappropriate wagering placements.
This effectively convinced the AGCO to lift the ban, so Ontario residents are now free to place boxing wagers on UFC events.
Legal indicators that a sportsbook platform is safe
All online sportsbooks you register on are legally obligated to have Ontario licenses. This also applies to online casinos providing sports betting services, several of which have already complied.
If this condition is met, you still have additional indicators to consider. For instance, platforms with one or more licenses besides the Ontario one usually ensure an increased security level, primarily if the other licenses are issued by strict authorities (Kahnawake Gaming Commission would be one of them).
Explicit terms and conditions are also of the essence. Operators can provide services within the legal limits without being too specific about their policies, knowing that only some players bother to check their T&Cs pages.
Because of this, platforms that feature policy details on several of their pages and explain every website process, in particular, are preferred. While this is not mandatory, the Ontario market includes several such providers, so it’s worth looking them up.
The overall perspective of the Ontario regulatory framework
Ontario provides clear legal parameters within which sportsbooks can provide their services. Players have only a few conditions to meet, namely age and KYC completion, whereas operators have their legality confirmed through the AGCO license.
In this situation, mainly since the UFC wagering ban has been lifted, all adult residents are free to bet on their boxing events of choice.