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The Impact of Regulation on Affiliate Marketing in Ontario: Detailed Guide from CasinoRIX

As part of the newly regulated iGaming industry in Ontario, the public advertisement of inducements is strictly prohibited. Inducements in this context refer to bonuses, free bets, or any offers designed to entice players to a gambling venue online. The exception to this is if it’s offered on the website of an operator or via direct marketing which a player has opted into.

These restrictions are not only in place to prevent underage access to online gambling, they also address privacy and information security, anti-money laundering, and promote responsible gambling. In this article, we’ll explore why regulation is a crucial aspect of the affiliate marketing industry in Ontario and provide insights on its impact on affiliates.

What are the Regulations Surrounding Affiliate Marketing in Ontario?

Ontario’s iGaming market operates in a strictly regulated environment that impacts how operators and third-party websites design their marketing approach. As part of measures to prevent and possibly eliminate problem gambling through the limitation of affiliate marketing, these key agencies are in place to administer and enforce regulatory compliance:

  • The Gaming Control Act, 1992: The act is enforced by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to ensure honesty, integrity, and financial responsibility to players through the prevention of inducements and criminal activity.
  • The Gaming Commission Act, 1992: With the passage of the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act (Ontario), the Gaming Control Commission was replaced by the AGCO in 1996. Key activities include inspecting and monitoring casinos, slot machine facilities and internet gaming for compliance with the Gaming Control Act, 1992, its regulations, licence requirements and other standards and requirements established by the Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming.
  • The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG): Crown agency, the OLG was established under the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act, 1999. Its purpose is to enhance Ontario’s economic development; generate revenues for the province; enhance Responsible Gambling; and deliver maximum value to the people and Province of Ontario.
  • The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL): CASL came into effect in 2014 and establishes rules for the sending of commercial electronic messages (CEMs) and the installation of computer programs. It also prohibits the unauthorized alteration of transmitted data.

Going by the above regulations, CasinoRIX experts believe that consumer protection is the ultimate goal of all iGaming Ontario standards. To guarantee the integrity of online gambling and ensure that players are not at risk of problem gambling, affiliate marketers must adhere to the above regulations.

How do Regulations Affect Affiliate Marketers in Ontario?

In adherence to regulations, iGaming affiliates in Ontario have had to exclude all suggestions of inducements from their websites. Usually, welcome bonuses and promotions for existing players are a huge part of the services offered by gambling websites on Affiliate marketers who work directly with these venues have either had to remove or geo-fence content with any mention of bonuses, free spins, free bets, or credits.

In terms of promotional guidelines, the AGCO registrar’s standards for online gambling restrict the use of celebrities who may appeal to minors during marketing campaigns. Operators within the province are also prohibited from featuring active or retired athletes. CasinoRIX experience shows that most children and youth are easily influenced by the celebrities and athletes they look up to, so these guidelines must be strictly adhered to. The registrar’s standards, however, encourage using entertainment figures in campaigns that advocate for responsible gambling practices.

Full disclosure and transparency are other necessary steps affiliates have had to take to come in-line with iGaming advertising standards. When promoting gaming sites, any suggestions on quick-money benefits or using gambling as a steady source of income are prohibited. Instead, it should be presented as a means of entertainment and that winning is simply a matter of luck.

To show the seriousness of regulations, affiliates who default risk receiving potential fines and penalties for non-compliance. For example, BetMGM Canada and PointsBet Canada were found in breach of Standards 2.04 (misleading information) and 2.05 (inducements) respectively. BetMGM was served a monetary penalty notice totalling C$48,000 while PointsBet received a penalty of C$30,000.

How can Affiliate Marketers Comply with Regulations in Ontario?

Different affiliates have approached the issue of regulations in different ways. Considering the dynamic nature and constant evolution of online casinos, having a clear understanding of the regulations and keeping up-to-date with changes is the foremost way to ensure compliance. CasinoRIX experts assume that if past defaulters like BetMGM had fully understood the standards, perhaps it would have found a way to adhere.

It’s also necessary to implement robust compliance programs and internal controls that check to ensure adherence to standards. For instance, some affiliates take on the approach of geofencing entire web pages that do not adhere to AGCO standards. Others choose a less serious approach by geotargeting only the lists that display inducements, ensuring that players in Ontario see the same content but get a different version.

Making the entertainment aspect of gambling part of the core messaging during marketing is another way to comply with regulations. Players must be well-informed of the losses that may inadvertently result from gambling and should not be encouraged to spend more to win more. Affiliates must stay informed on industry developments and best practices as it pertains to responsible gambling. Providing resources that address the risks of problem gambling and its solutions should be a priority.

What are the Benefits of Regulation for Affiliate Marketers in Ontario?

From CasinoRIX experience, the regulations on iGaming Ontario affiliates not only benefit the industry and the end users (customers) but also do a lot for the marketers themselves. Some of these advantages include:

  • Increased trust and credibility with consumers: Affiliate marketers who are transparent and fully disclose what players can expect from gambling gain more credibility and trust from customers.
  • Reduced risk of legal action and reputational damage: Considering the hefty fines attached to violating advertising regulations, adherence to standards can keep operators and partners from facing legal action and undue damage to their reputations.
  • Improved ability to attract and retain high-quality partners: With increased credibility and trustworthiness, more affiliates can maintain business relationships with top-quality partners without worrying about such deals falling through.
  • Enhanced overall reputation of the industry: The iGaming industry in Ontario is one of the most difficult to penetrate due to strict regulatory oversight. This ultimately makes it one of the most reputable in the world.


Top advice from CasinoRIX experts has warned of the dangers associated with noncompliance to the regulatory framework. With standards like the Gaming Control Act, affiliates have a credible and time-tested module to base their operations on. For their benefit and that of the iGaming industry and its customers, regulations are ultimately essential in promoting safer gambling. If you want to ensure you’re not in violation of any standards, please ensure you stay informed on regulatory changes and the best industry practices.