Published: September 15, 2022

Ontario Sports Betting: OLG Overhauls Self-Exclusion Program Amid iGaming Growth

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) announced this week the launch of My PlayBreak, a self-exclusion system that will span the company’s brick-and-mortar and online sports betting operations.

The government-owned agency that offers online casino gaming and sports betting in Ontario says it has given its self-exclusion program a tuneup amid the recent expansion of internet-based gambling in the province.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) announced this week the launch of My PlayBreak, a self-exclusion system that will span the company’s brick-and-mortar and online sports betting operations, such as its PROLINE+ sportsbook. 

“Our new enhanced and rebranded self-exclusion program offers customers more flexibility and choice — whether they want to take a break from play at an Ontario casino, Charitable Gaming Centre, or on,” the company noted in a press release

The updated program “responds to personal preferences and facilitates stronger connections to treatment and support services,” OLG said. To do so, it has several new features, including “defined, renewable term lengths” for self-exclusion and optional check-in calls from staff at the Responsible Gaming Council, a non-profit organization.

There is also now a “simplified” process for returning to play, OLG said, and a “more supportive approach” if players breach the terms of their self-exclusion from gambling.

"OLG prioritizes player health and is focused on continuous improvement of its [responsible-gambling] programming," said Alexandra Aguzzi, OLG's senior vice president of brand, communications, and sustainability, in a press release. "My PlayBreak is just one of the RG tools in OLG's sophisticated and unmatched PlaySmart portfolio that is integrated across multiple product lines to help customers create and maintain healthy habits that enable a lifetime of sustainable play."

Boom times

OLG conducts and manages land-based casino gambling, lottery games, and sports betting in Ontario, Canada's most populous province. However, its updated self-exclusion program comes as Ontario is in the midst of a boom in online gambling. (OLG recently hiked its retail sports betting limits as well.)

The province opened the first-of-its-kind market for Canada in April, which permits internet casino gambling, poker, and online sports betting. The new iGaming market has already attracted more than 20 private-sector operators in addition to OLG’s online business. And, in an attempt to perhaps head off any blowback, some private operators have made responsible gaming a big part of their messaging to Ontarians. 

Nevertheless, while Ontario’s iGaming sector may be growing, the province lacks a centralized self-exclusion program that could ensure participating players are turned away no matter where they go.

That, however, is supposed to change, according to iGaming Ontario (iGO), the government agency responsible for the private market. 

“Currently, iGaming Ontario does not manage a centralized and coordinated self-exclusion program to allow players to exclude themselves from all online Operator platforms,” iGO says on its website. “Such a system will be implemented at a later date, and requirements will be developed in the coming months.”

Billions and billions

In the meantime, billions of dollars in bets have already been placed via Ontario's new iGaming market. 

IGaming Ontario reported at the end of August that more than $4 billion in wagers had been handled and more than $160 million in revenue had been generated from April 4 to June 30 in the iGaming market, which doesn’t include OLG. There were also more than 490,000 active player accounts.

“Our aim is to be the best gaming jurisdiction in the world and these positive results are an early sign that we’re on our way,” said Dave Forestell, chair of iGO’s board of directors, in a press release. “With a competitive revenue share rate and low barriers to entry, Ontario is an attractive igaming market with a strong player base.”

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