loader search icon
Popular pages
Our top casino picks for United States of America 🏆

No celebrities for Ontario online casino ads

news thumbnail image

Ontario clamps down on the use of celebrities and athletes in an effort to protect minors from temptation.

One of the most important factors in the online gaming industry in recent years is responsible gaming. Operators and regulators focus a lot on improving responsible gambling measures and minimising player harm.

Ontario recently updated its rules to ban the use of athletes and other celebrities in gaming advertisements.

No more celeb ads

Late in August, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario revealed that gambling operators can no longer run marketing campaigns featuring athletes and celebrities. The ban on star-featuring ads will come into effect from 28 February 2024.

Aside from updating rules to prohibit athletes' use in marketing, they also extended their standards for internet gaming, restricting the use of celebrities followed by minors.

AGCO made the new changes after identifying the potential harm to minors. With these new standards in play, all registered iGaming operators will be prohibited from featuring any athletes. This includes both active and retired athletes.

One exception is responsible gaming advertisements. Online operators will be allowed to feature celebs and athletes in ads that are created for the sole purpose of advocating responsible gaming.

According to AGCO registrar and chief executive Tom Mungham, they are increasing the measures to protect Ontario youth by banning the use of influential figures in online betting promotions. The primary reason is that celebrities and athletes influence the youth who look up to them.

Problematic advertisements

From 28 February 2024, no athletes, active or inactive, will be allowed to use ads and any type of marketing for iGaming in the Canadian province of Ontario. Any celebrities, role models, entertainment, or social media influencers that may appeal to minors are under the same restrictions. Aside from the added rules, there is no change to the advertisement's volume, style, or location.

The primary reason for these changes is the heavy criticism from industry experts, advocates, and parents. There is an increase in online gambling advertisements, especially in the live sports industry.

A prime example is the almost 8.5 minutes of advertisements that ran during the 2023 playoffs series game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers. This led to many asking the question of whether or not online betting advertisements are getting out of hand.

Some stars that feature in gambling ads include the Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews, and Connor McDavid from the Edmonton Oilers.

Former Olympian and University of Toronto professor Bruce Kidd launched a campaign to ban ads for gambling. According to Kidd, they found the campaign due to the constant run of ads, making it feel like you're in a casino while watching television.

Canadian Senator Marty Deacon also introduced legislation urging the government to regulate gambling ads from Canadian online casinos and add measures to limit or ultimately ban ads featuring celebrities and athletes.


Recently AGCO reviewed its rules after the 1-year celebration of the regulated gaming market for Ontario online casinos. During the review, it identified that any approaches using public figures that appeal to minors have the potential to be harmful.

In April 2023, AGCO had consultations regarding its proposal to ban such advertisements. They received submissions from mental health and public health organisations, gaming operators, responsible gambling experts, and the public.

According to the results and research, AGCO determines that banning the use of athletes and restricting celebrity endorsements could assist in safeguarding the youth.

With these new amendments, online gaming operators are prohibited from using any role models or symbols that could attract minors.

Published: September 11, 2023

Anything incorrect or missing?

Article by Polly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey guys, my name is Polina but my friends and colleagues call me Polly. I am truly passionate about online casino gaming and exploring the different online gambling experiences. I'm really into diving deep into topics and researching all the details. My aim is to gather the best information and write interesting articles for all the readers at CasinoWow.

CasinoWow.com Cookies

We use 🍪 cookies to improve your user experience. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy.



Be the first to get exclusive bonuses and WOW casino promotions! Get access to our new online casinos, top stories and special iGaming events for FREE.

Share this page across social platforms!