PointsBet Gets $150k Fine in Ontario, Failed to Intervene When Player Lost $500k

  • PointsBet violated a number of important responsible gambling rules in Ontario
  • The AGCO concluded that the operator’s employees didn’t have sufficient training
  • PointsBet was previously fined by the AGCO for advertising-related breaches
Penalty blocks with hammer
The AGCO has fined PointsBet CA$150,000 (US$108,628) for a variety of responsible gambling violations. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Cracking down on operators

Online gambling operators in licensed jurisdictions have a big responsibility to make sure they are doing their utmost to protect players from harm.

Ontario’s regulator has revealed that PointsBet Canada failed to do so recently, issuing a CA$150,000 (US$108,628) penalty to the operator. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced this action on Thursday, detailing various violations of the region’s responsible gambling rules.

a user lost more than CA$500,000 (US$362,093) in the space of a couple of months

Among the offenses, PointsBet failed to step in when a user lost more than CA$500,000 (US$362,093) in the space of a couple of months. Despite PointsBets’ systems flagging the user numerous times as high-risk due to the big losses and canceling payout requests, the operator did not intervene at all.

Protection of players

In another offense, PointsBet did not enforce a mandatory 24-hour account cool-off period when a user canceled their daily deposit limit. This rule is in place to prevent people from impulsively canceling their deposit limit and immediately gambling more cash.

The AGCO also found that PointsBet sent marketing materials about gambling inducements to a player after they withdrew consent for the operator to do so. This person received free sports event tickets and bonuses worth a total of CA$35,500 (US$25,709) despite not giving permission.

The AGCO concluded that PointsBet employees are not sufficiently aware of responsible gambling rules and did not have the proper training to deal with people who could be experiencing gambling-related harm. Speaking about the PointsBet case, AGCO Registrar and CEO Dr. Karin Schnarr said that the AGCO “will continue to focus on player protection by holding all registered operators to these high standards.”

The AGCO has a reputation for coming down hard on misbehaving operators. handed out a CA$100,000 (US$72,419) penalty to Apollo Entertainment in August after the online casino operator allowed a player to lose CA$2m (US$1.5m) in four months without any intervention.

PointsBet in Canada

PointsBet is able to appeal the financial penalty through an independent process if it wishes to do so. It has been operating an online casino and sportsbook in Ontario since the regulated market went live in April 2022.

had to pay a CA$48,000 (US$33,313) financial penalty

This is not the first time that the AGCO has fined the operator. It had to pay a CA$48,000 (US$33,313) financial penalty shortly after the market launch for advertising-related breaches. Ontario has strict laws preventing operators from advertising free bets and bonuses to people outside of their website unless users have consented to getting direct marketing communications.

PointsBet officially sold its US operations last month to Fanatics for US$225m, although this deal will not impact its operations in Canada.


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