An online gaming operator in Ontario has been hit with a fine of $150,000 for failing to help a player who was flagged as “high-risk” from accruing massive gambling losses, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) said in a release Thursday.
The AGCO levied the financial penalties after claiming PointsBet Canada Operations 1 Inc., a registered internet gaming operator, failed to meet the province’s responsible gambling requirements.
More specifically, the AGCO says the company failed to “intervene and provide assistance to a player who was potentially experiencing gambling harms. In this case, a player lost over $500,000 in under three months,” the AGCO said.
“The player was flagged as potentially high-risk by the operator’s systems on multiple occasions, including due to incurring significant losses and making repeated withdrawal cancellations,” the AGCO added. “Despite this, no interventions were provided by the gaming site operator during that period.”
The AGCO further claims the company didn’t enforce a 24-hour cooling-off period that’s required when a player cancels their per-day deposit limit.
Making matters worse, the AGCO says the company further enticed the player with bonuses and credits “through direct advertising without active player consent.”
“Despite the player withdrawing their consent for direct advertising and marketing, credits totalling $35,500 were deposited on various occasions into the player’s account, and numerous offers of free tickets to sporting events were provided,” it said.
AGCO CEO, Dr. Karin Schnarr, wasn’t impressed.
“In Ontario, igaming operators have an obligation to proactively monitor their patrons’ play for signs of high-risk gambling, and to take appropriate actions to intervene and reduce the potential for gambling-related harms,” Schnarr said.
“The AGCO will continue to focus on player protection by holding all registered operators to these high standards.”