Northern Exposure: GeoComply’s Ontario Betting Insights, Political Pushback On Sports Betting Ads Continues

Each week, Canada Sports Betting recaps all the top sports betting and iGaming news in Canada and highlights upcoming events.

Our top stories this week

Event of the week

NFL Thanksgiving weekend madness

If you love betting on football, this week is for you. The NFL has a three-game slate scheduled for Thanksgiving Thursday and even a special Black Friday contest between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Those games will be followed by a loaded Sunday card and the Monday nighter between the Bears and Vikings.

Ontario’s adopted NFL team, the Buffalo Bills, have a huge matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon. The Bills have a daunting upcoming schedule, with dates against Kansas City and Dallas to follow after their clash with the high-powered Eagles.

Be sure to check back with Canada Sports Betting on Sunday for a full betting preview of the Bills-Eagles tilt.

GeoComply opens Toronto office

Vancouver-based GeoComply, a third-party location service provider that provides cybersecurity solutions to detect location fraud and verify a user’s true identity, opened a new office in Toronto on Monday.

GeoComply’s services are being utilized by many of the private operators doing business in Ontario to help operators comply with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s regulations to ensure players are located within provincial borders.

Although Canada Sports Betting wasn’t in attendance at the grand opening, it was able to obtain a slide deck that was presented at the event featuring some interesting Ontario wagering data and trends.

Perhaps the most notable tidbit in the 12-page presentation is the shocking amount of attempts to access the Ontario iGaming market from outside provincial borders. GeoComply has blocked 105,000 attempts from nearby Quebec since the start of the NFL season in September, and 750,000 IP spoofing attempts from all jurisdictions outside of Ontario from Sept. 7-Nov. 15 of this year.

Related: Ontario A Complex Region For Online Gaming Geolocation Technology

GeoComply’s data also suggests sports betting interest has been surging since the start of the NFL campaign, which means we could see huge quarterly revenues to finish off 2023.

In 2022-2023, the regulated iGaming industry in Ontario contributed $1.58 billion to the GDP, supported 12,072 full-time jobs, and generated $523 million in government revenues, according to a report from Deloitte. Clearly, the appetite for a regulated iGaming market, like Ontario, is desired by Canadians residing in other provinces across the country. Currently, Ontario is the only province to embrace a private iGaming model, but there is momentum towards an open competition model in Alberta and Quebec.

Political pushback on sports betting ads continues

The AGCO is already taking action by effectively banning celebrities and athletes from appearing in iGaming advertisements in the province of Ontario beginning at the end of February, but a bill has also been tabled with the aim of establishing a national framework on advertising for sports betting.

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport recently hosted a discussion on the potential impacts of sports betting advertising on Canadians, featuring Senator Brent Cotter, Senator Marty Deacon (who tabled the bill), Dr. Bruce Kidd (Professor Emeritus, Sport & Public Policy at the University of Toronto), Martin Sampson (CPRA/ACPL), and Jeremy Luke (CCES).

Deacon tabled Bill S-269, which is now in its second reading in the Senate, back in June. Deacon tabled the new legislation in response to the public outcry for further restrictions on gambling advertisements, which have spiked in Canada, and specifically Ontario, since the launch of a new regulated iGaming market in the province. The legislation essentially tasks the government with placing “reasonable” limits on sports betting advertising to protect society, children, and youth by working with the provinces and other industry stakeholders, including the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission.

The hour-long discussion can be viewed below:

Deacon has a goal of passing the legislation in the next eight-to-12 months and is anxious to get the bill into the Consideration for Committee phase for a “vigourous debate.” A bill can become law only once the same text has been approved by both Houses of Parliament and has received royal assent. The panellists stressed the importance of addressing this issue as soon as possible.

You can follow the progress of this bill, here.

CGA’s Player Health Symposium

The Canadian Gaming Association will be hosting a two-day industry symposium in Toronto on Dec. 5-6 that will include seminars on player health and regulatory compliance.

Executives from the Responsible Gambling Council will lead a workshop on the development of guiding principles for responsible gaming for the CGA national industry Code of Conduct. Some new IPSOS research in the RG realm will also be unveiled.

Representatives from the AGCO and iGaming Ontario will also be on hand on Dec. 6 to help interested parties learn about navigating the local iGaming industry complexities, regulatory compliance, and more.

The CGA has also informed its members that it has engaged Advertising Standards Canada to develop a national advertising code for gaming.

The CGA’s annual general meeting will also commence on the afternoon of Dec. 6.

Those interested in attending the symposium can sign up here.