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Ontario bans use of pro athletes to advertise, market online sports betting

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has banned the use of athletes in the advertising and marketing of internet gaming in Ontario.

The AGCO announced Tuesday it was updated the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming to prohibit the use of athletes.

It also strengthened the standards to restrict the use of celebrities who would likely be expected to appeal to minors.

The new restrictions will come into effect Feb. 28, 2024.

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and current NHL stars Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews are among the athletes who have appeared in ads for gambling sites.

In June, a Canadian senator told CBC� News that the number of advertisements for sports betting seen in Ontario are not only irksome, but dangerous.

Marty Deacon, who represents Waterloo as an independent, has coached athletes involved in the Olympics, Commonweath and Pan Am Games. She said betting ads that frequently use celebrities or athletes have become “very attractive, addictive and sensational.”

On April 4, 2022, Ontario became the first province in Canada to expand its sports betting market by officially opening up the industry for single-event bets.

Deacon said she supported the move as it allowed betting to be out in the open and under Canadian rules and regulations. But a “really big torrent of advertising and promotions” for all ages was also launched, she said. 

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