What we do: Lottery and gaming

Learn about the AGCO's role in regulating various aspects of the lottery and gaming industry in Ontario.

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The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for administering the Gaming Control Act, 1992 (GCA) and the regulation made under it. The AGCO regulates various aspects of lottery and gaming in Ontario, including:  

The AGCO employs a standards-based approach to the regulation of gaming. Under the GCA, the Registrar is authorized to establish standards for the gaming sector. The objective of a standards-based regulatory model is to shift the focus from requiring licensees and registrants to comply with a specific set of rules or processes, towards the broader regulatory outcomes they are expected to achieve. 

For more information on the standards-based approach and to access the Registrar’s Standards for land-based gaming, internet gaming, and the lottery sector, see the Standards page.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) lotteries 

The AGCO regulates lottery games (e.g., lottery tickets) which are conducted and managed by the OLG.  

This involves:  

Casino gaming

The AGCO regulates and oversees Ontario’s land-based casino locations that are conducted and managed by the OLG. Many of these casino locations have private operators who are registered with the AGCO.  

The AGCO’s regulatory objective is to ensure that all casino gaming is operated within the law and with honesty and integrity and in the public interest. The main ways the AGCO does this is by:  

  • registering operators, gaming-related and non-gaming-related suppliers and gaming assistants who work in or supply the casino sector  
  • testing, approving and monitoring slot machines and gaming management systems  
  • establishing standards and requirements for the conduct, management and operation of the gaming industry  
  • inspecting, auditing and monitoring land-based casinos for compliance with the GCA, its regulation and the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming  
  • approving rules of play or changes to the rules of play for games in land-based casinos  
  • excluding persons from accessing gaming sites pursuant to the GCA; and  
  • working closely with Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Casino Enforcement operations to support a safe and secure environment at all gaming sites.  

The AGCO tests, assesses, examines and approves electronic gaming equipment and systems. Find more information about the AGCO’s role in ensuring public confidence in the integrity and fairness of electronic gaming equipment and systems in Ontario. 

Charitable gaming

The AGCO licenses and regulates charitable gaming events (such as bingo, raffles and the sale of break open tickets) held by eligible charitable groups.  

This involves:  

  • registering operators, gaming-related suppliers, retailers/sellers and gaming assistants who work in or supply the charitable sector  
  • administering, in partnership with municipalities and First Nations Licensing Authorities, the regulatory framework governing the issuance of charitable lottery licences (e.g., bingo, raffle and break open ticket events)  
  • inspecting, auditing and monitoring charitable gaming events and facilities for compliance with the GCA and its regulation  

The Registrar has issued a Lottery Licensing Policy Manual (LLPM), which is used to determine eligibility for a lottery licence and for the eligible use of proceeds from these events.    

Electronic raffles

The Registrar has established the Electronic Raffle Regulatory Framework that allows eligible charitable or religious organizations to be licenced to conduct and manage electronic raffles in Ontario.  

Electronic raffles refer to the use of computers for the sale of tickets, the selection of winners and the distribution of prizes in a licenced charity raffle.  

OLG gaming where a portion of profit is shared with charities. The OLG conducts and manages cGaming Centres where a portion of profits is shared with charities under an arrangement involving local municipalities, the gaming centre operators and the charities. 

cGaming Centres offer the following types of electronic games:

  • electronic bingo (similar to traditional bingo played on paper)  
  • electronic break open ticket dispensers (TapTix)  
  • electronic shutterboard bingo  
  • play on demand electronic games, accessed by players on individual computer screens  

The AGCO is responsible for regulating these cGaming Centres. Some of the AGCO’s key activities associated with this include:  

  • registering operators, gaming-related suppliers, retailers/sellers and gaming assistants who work in or supply the  cGaming Centres  
  • establishing standards and requirements for the conduct, management and operation of the lottery schemes, gaming sites and related businesses  
  • testing of electronic games by the AGCO Technology Regulation and iGaming Compliance Branch for compliance with the technical standards developed by the Registrar  
  • regulatory assurance activities, including, audits, inspections, and investigations, to ensure that the games and centres are conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, standards and policies  

Internet gaming

Ontario's internet gaming (igaming) market is regulated by the AGCO. iGaming Ontario, an AGCO subsidiary, is responsible for conducting and managing igaming in Ontario provided through private operators. OLG continues to be responsible for conducting and managing internet gaming offered on OLG.ca.  

The AGCO’s igaming regulatory framework aims to achieve the Government of Ontario’s objectives of providing consumer choice, ensuring player protection, and supporting the growth of the regulated market in Ontario.  

As with its other lines of business in the gaming sector, the AGCO performs several activities to ensure igaming in Ontario is conducted with honesty and integrity, including: