Lisa Cheban | 15 August, 2023 09:12 | Last update on: 15 August, 2023 09:12
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the body which oversees online sports betting and online casinos in Ontario, Canada, has announced critical personnel changes. This is after the regulatory body confirmed the appointment of Dave Forestell as the new Chair of the Board. Before this appointment, Mr Forestell served as a Board member and the Chair of AGCO’s subsidiary, iGaming Ontario.
According to press reports, Forestell stepped down from his executive position at iGaming Ontario to take up the new role at AGCO. This means iGaming Ontario is expected to roll out its own search for Forestell’s successor.
The information of the personnel changes at the helm of the regulator’s Board follows an initial declaration that Tom Mungham, the watchdog’s Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, will retire later in 2023. The board hand initially launched a search for Mr Mungham’s potential replacement. Mungham will continue in his position until AGCO finds a suitable replacement.
Mr Forestell will be tasked with helping AGCO effectively regulate one of the world’s fastest-growing iGaming markets. Back in April, the regulator proposed banning star athletes from iGaming advertisements across the province. The regulator also proposed banning famous cartoon figures, entertainers, role models, and celebrities from appearing in gambling ads, claiming these characters are popular among underage persons.
The AGCO was expected to implement these proposals shortly after the announcement. In Mid-June, the regulator’s CEO said during the Canadian Gaming Summit that the watchdog would make a binding decision in weeks. However, AGCO is yet to make any official statement regarding the new marketing practices in the province’s iGaming scene.
Casino Games Continue to Dominate the iGaming Market
In other gaming news in Ontario, residents are betting more on online casino games than sports, according to the latest numbers from iGaming Ontario. The report revealed that Ontarians wagered a total of $14 billion in the second quarter of 2023. Of that sum, $2 billion was spent on sports, while $11.6 billion went to regulated online casinos. The report further revealed that peer-to-peer poker contributed $350 million.
The numbers show the fast-growing nature of the Ontario iGaming space, which currently betters most regulated markets in the United States. It’s worth noting that the iGaming scene was officially launched in April 2022, becoming the first province in Canada to legislate online gambling. And the numbers don’t include the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and the retail sector.
According to industry analysts, legal internet gambling’s growth is boosted by the province allowing casual players to access these services on their mobile phones and desktops. This has drawn many, including in-person gamblers. The region revealed it has over 900K active player accounts in its most recent report.