August 26, 2022
Ontario's gaming regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has announced its intention to fine Unibet the sum of $48,000 for violations of its marketing guidelines. Kindred Group's Unibet brand became one of the first legal Ontario online casinos and sportsbooks, when it gain its license from the AGCO well in advance of the April 4, 2022 market open.
Between May 19 and May 22, 2022, Unibet was seen to advertise "Generous Welcome Offers" which is in contravention of the Registrar's Standard 2.05. Ontario strictly prohibits the broad advertisement of inducements on any media channel other than the operator's own platforms. The offending advertisement was not through affiliate marketing, but rather Unibet's own media buys.
There has been widespread confusion from both licensed Ontario operators and their affiliate marketers with regard to this language around the prohibition of inducements. First, in early May 2022, both PointsBet and BetMGM were fined by the AGCO, then in June, DraftKings were fined for broad advertisement of an "odds boost" style of promotion.
Given the nature of what Unibet has been fined for here, based on what they learned from the previous sorts of fines that occurred above, it appears they knew they were not allowed to quote a specific new customer promotion with a precise dollar value within the offer. What Unibet clearly did not realise internally is that they were not allowed to communicate even the existence of any offer or inducement in any form of advertising.
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