The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is continuing its modernization of the regulation of gaming and lotteries in Ontario by expanding its risk-based, outcomes-based and compliance focused approach to all of the sectors it regulates.
The AGCO first introduced its standards-based approach to regulating Ontario’s gaming sector with a casino pilot project in 2012; implementation across casinos was subsequently phased in starting in 2015. The standards framework was also implemented for internet gaming and charitable gaming in the form of c-gaming in OLG run bingo facilities in 2013.
The Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing (Registrar) approved the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector (The Lottery Standards) to regulate Ontario’s lottery sector in June 2015. This regulatory framework sets out the standards, which the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and OLG Lottery Retailers will have to comply with in their daily operations as of June 30, 2017.
The introduction of Standards is foundational to the AGCO’s modernization of gaming regulation in Ontario. The objective of a standards-based approach is to shift the regulatory focus from requiring registrants to comply with a specific set of rules or processes, which tend to be rigid and inflexible in nature, to one in which the Registrar articulates the broader regulatory objectives and then supports and holds
registrants accountable for achieving the expected outcomes.
This move to a standards-based approach for Gaming followed statutory and regulatory amendments to the Gaming Control Act, 1992 in June 2012. These amendments were introduced to modernize the regulation of Ontario’s gaming sector.
What it means to OLG Lottery Retailers
As of June 30, 2017, OLG and OLG Lottery Retailers will be required to operate in full compliance with the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector. Twenty-one standards apply directly to OLG Lottery Retailers.
The Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector set clear expectations for the fair, honest and responsible sale of OLG lottery tickets, while moving away from the previous, more rigid, rules-based approach.
This shift will allow for more operational flexibility to the Operator (the OLG). Retailers must continue to comply with all of the relevant provisions of the Gaming Control Act, as well as the terms of their OLG Retailer Agreement and the policies and procedures outlined in the OLG Retailer Policy Manual.
The AGCO will continue to conduct inspections of retailers and will assess their compliance with the provisions of the Gaming Control Act as well as the new Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector.
For example, inspectors will be checking that Lottery Retailers are ensuring that only eligible individuals are permitted to play, that an accurate and complete list of all individuals involved in the handling of lottery tickets is maintained and that access to gaming supplies and sensitive inventories is appropriately controlled.
Who was responsible for establishing the new Lottery Standards?
The Standards were established by the Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing. They were developed in collaboration with key gaming industry stakeholders, public interest groups and government partners and will be implemented across all gaming sectors in Ontario based on a comprehensive and systematic risk assessment. Further risk assessments will be conducted periodically to ensure the standards remain relevant and establish the highest standards for integrity in Ontario.
What Will Change?
The Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector will include a greater focus on responsible gambling. For example, this means the Retailer must have responsible gambling brochures available. OLG staff will also deliver AGCO-approved responsible gambling retailer training early in 2018.
In addition, the OLG will be making changes to the Retailer Policy Manual, including (but not limited to):
Additional instructions on how to report theft, fraud and dishonesty of their staff or customers
Further clarification and instructions for retailers to refrain from selling lottery products to known prohibited individuals
Updated instructions for prohibiting retailers from lending credit to individuals in order to purchase lottery tickets (retailers may not offer customers a lottery ‘tab’)
What Will Remain the Same?
Retailers and their staff will continue to sell and redeem lottery products with the highest degree of honesty and integrity. Retailers and their staff will continue to comply with the policies and procedures outlined in the OLG Retailer Policy Manual and the requirements under the Gaming Control Act. The AGCO’s registration processes for OLG lottery sellers and managers will not change.
Who do I contact for more information or help?
Call or email AGCO Customer Service:
General Telephone: 416-326-8700
Toll-Free in Ontario: 1-800-522-2876
For more information:
The Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector
Frequently Asked Questions – Registrar’s Standards for Gaming: Lottery Sector
Registrar’s Standards for Gaming
Frequently Asked Questions – Registrar’s Standards for Gaming
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