AGCO hands CA$100,000 penalty to Apollo over RG failings

Issued by the AGCO Registrar, the penalty relates to alleged violations of the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming.

Among these breaches was a failure to conduct required interventions with players who may be experiencing gambling related harms. This included a case of one player losing $2.0m in less than four months without any intervention from Apollo.

AGCO also identified a failure to implement an adequate voluntary self-exclusion programme. The regulator added that Apollo did not provide sufficient tools for players to set financial and time-based gambling limits.

In addition, AGCO said Apollo failed to ensure its employees understood the importance of responsible gambling. This included assisting players who may be experiencing gambling-related harms.

Apollo takes significant steps to address failings

Since AGCO spoke with Apollo about the issues, the regulator said Apollo has taken “significant steps” to strengthen its processes. 

Apollo retains the right to appeal against the decision and subsequent penalty. However, the operator is yet to confirm whether it will take this route.

“AGCO’s goal is to ensure Ontarians can enjoy online gambling on sites that operate fairly, responsibly and provide important player protections,” AGCO CEO and registrar Tom Mungham said.

“All registered operators have an obligation to proactively monitor patron play for signs of high-risk gambling. They must take appropriate actions to intervene and reduce the potential for gambling-related harm.”

Specific breaches of AGCO’s standards 

AGCO said its responsible gambling framework was developed following an in-depth review of approaches taken in other jurisdictions worldwide. It was also subject to stakeholder consultations, including with Ontario’s responsible gambling community. 

Detailing the sections breached by Apollo, these included section 2.01, which requires all licensees to implement and follow policies to identify, prevent and minimise risks of harm.

AGCO also flagged 2.11, covering a requirement to assist players who may be experiencing harm and implement tailored interventions. Apollo was also ruled to have breached section 2.12, which relates to ensuring staff understanding of responsible gambling.

Other breaches include section 2.14, covering the need to provide a voluntary self-exclusion mechanism and section 2.23, which ensure players are provided with an easy way to set gaming limits.

Apollo was awarded an igaming licence in Ontario in September last year. The Ontario regulated igaming market launched on 4 April 2022.

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