Ontario Regulator Proposes Prohibiting Active or Retired Celebs From Promoting Online Gambling

  • The proposed rule bans using retired or active athletes, celebrities, influencers, and more
  • AGCO could possibly implement the new regulation in Ontario starting in August
Canada and Ontario flags
An Ontario regulator has proposed banning retired stars such as Wayne Gretzky, active athletes, celebrities, and more from endorsing online gambling. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is proposing a ban on famous athletes and other celebrities from endorsing online gambling in a bid to reduce its attraction to an underage audience.

strong appeal to minors

The AGCO says it believes the use of celebrities and athletes in gambling advertisements has a strong appeal to minors. If approved, the new rules would prohibit gambling companies in Ontario from using celebrities or active or retired athletes. The UK encated a similar law in April 2022, but let ads starring ex-soccer star Peter Crouch go after deeming he had little appeal to a young audience.

Ontario’s gambling advertising standards change will also rule out using cartoon figures, social media influencers, symbols, or role models that may sway underage gamblers.

According to CBC News, the AGCO will receive comments from stakeholders until May 8 before changing the province’s gambling rules, which would essentially come into effect three months after the regulator publishes the final changes.

The new rules would prohibit ads like those starring former NHL star Wayne Gretzky, and active players Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid, who became the first active major North American sports star to partner with a sportsbook when he inked a BetMGM deal in March 2022.

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