The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has issued penalties to BetVictor operator BV Gaming and Fitzdares Canada for offering prohibited bets on major junior hockey.
Both operators allegedly offered bets on Canadian Hockey League (CHL) contests. These included Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Bets were taken during the 2022-23 season.
This, AGCO said, violated standards that prohibit betting on minor league sports including the CGL’s three major junior hockey leagues. Specifically, Standard 4.34, paragraph 15 outlaws wagering on this level of sporting event.
As such, BV Gaming (BetVictor) and Fitzdares Canada were each ordered to pay a penalty of CA$15,000 (£8,913/€10,380/US$11,337).
Both operators have the right to appeal the ruling to the License Appeal Tribunal.
“As the regulator of Ontario’s sports betting industry, AGCO is resolved to maintain the integrity of sports betting,” AGCO chief operating officer Dave Phillips said. “In turn, this may serve to protect the integrity of sport. This includes a clear prohibition on offering bets in Ontario on minor league sports, including Canadian major junior hockey.
“We will continue to carefully monitor Ontario’s sports betting markets to ensure the public interest is protected.”
BV Gaming was one of the first operators to secure a gaming license in the Canadian province around the time of the market’s launch in April 2022. The license enables the operator to offer online sports betting and casino games to consumers.
Fitzdares launched in Ontario in February of this year in partnership with B2B sportsbook and igaming service provider FSB.
AGCO has issued a number of penalties and warnings in recent months as part of its ongoing crackdown on prohibited activities.
In April, AGCO handed fines totaling to three operators for offering uncertified slot games. Bunchberry Limited, Mobile Incorporated Limited and LeoVegas Gaming were flagged for breaching of Standards 4.08 and 4.09. These relate to securing approval for all slots from an independent testing laboratory.
Mobile Incorporated also breached Standard 1.22, where games it provided were from suppliers that are not registered with the AGCO.
As such, AGCO fined Mobile Incorporated $30,000 for its triple breach of standards, while LeoVegas was fined $25,000 and Bunchberry $15,000.