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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / DraftKings to pay CA$100,000 for breaking advertising standards

DraftKings to pay CA$100,000 for breaking advertising standards

Publish Date: 07/03/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

On Thursday, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) sent a CA$100,000 (approximately US$77,577.1) fine notice to DraftKings. This notice followed a violation of standards in advertising and inducement applied in the Canadian province.

DraftKings promoted a boost of odds for hockey matches during playoffs from May 19 to 31 on its TV and social media ads. It violated Standard 2.05 which prevents the promotion of bonuses, inducements, and credits unless the users are on the operator’s direct website.

James Chisholm, a representative from DraftKings, said that the team is “committed to complying with all applicable regulations in every jurisdiction in which we operate”. Additionally, DraftKings removed the ads shortly after receiving the notice.

To respond, DraftKings can make an appeal to an adjudicative tribunal named the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT). This tribunal is independent of AGCO and a part of the province’s tribunal.

In a press release, AGCO stated that it “will continue to monitor the activities of all registered operators and hold them to high standards of responsible gambling, player protection, and game integrity.” It explained that the action “is in the public interest.”

The sportsbook is not the only operator that received a fine from the AGCO. PointsBet Canada and BetMGM Canada were also fined CA$30,000 (US$23,273.13 ) and CA$48,000 (US$37,237) respectively. Both operators broke the similar standard (BetMGM Canada had an additional violation for Standards 2.04).

Scott Vanderwel, CEO of PointsBet Canada, made a public apology after the issuance and stated that there was an “error in interpretation of the standards”. Meanwhile, BetMGM Canada refused to comment on the case.

Ontario had only legalized sports betting in April this year. Meanwhile, DraftKings only began offering its services on May 18 in this province as well. Thus, these sportsbooks are still new and unfamiliar with the regulations.

Related government bodies had hosted discussion sessions with sports betting operators to explain the unique advertising and inducement standards. At the Canadian Gaming Summit held in early June, operators also sought clarification on some implemented standards.

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