The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) has issued a formal statement describing their commitment to enforcing responsible play in the Canadian iGaming market.
Paul Burns, the President and CEO of the CGA, was the author of this statement. Here, he discusses the moral responsibility of iGaming operators in enforcing responsible gambling practices, and therefore issuing strict rules for their players to adhere to:
“As an industry, we have a tremendous opportunity – and responsibility – to come together to advance the evolution of a regulated, responsible and sustainable Canadian gambling industry.”
In this statement, Burns describes the responsible play guidelines that Canadian players ought to follow.
The release of this statement preceded the CGA’s symposium on the subject in question that took place in Toronto, Canada in December of 2023:
“On December 5th, the CGA will be hosting an Industry Symposium to discuss best practices in responsible play, and establish an industry-led way forward. Working with the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) and Ad Standards Canada, we’re launching a process to establish Responsible Gambling Guiding Principles, an Industry Responsible Advertising Code and more, as part of an overall Action Plan to Encourage Responsible Play.”
In his statement on behalf of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), Burns begins with the following opening remarks:
“The last two years have seen an important and exciting evolution in the Canadian gaming space – with global implications. As Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things have pushed electronic globalization forward, Ontario and Canada have been on the cutting-edge in the gaming world, as we seek to become global leaders in gaming platforms and innovation.”
Following this, Burns goes on to describe the dramatic progress that has been made thus far:
The creation of a fully regulated iGaming market in the province of Ontario
The legalization of single-event sports betting
Regulated online gambling has been expanded, and there is much potential for further growth in this aspect
Room for Improvement
In spite of this significant progress towards ensuring proper player protection in the Canadian online gambling market, Burns believes that there is still much room for improvement:
“Progressive gambling policies – like those we are building in Canada – require sophistication and leadership. That includes not only leading in our regulatory flexibility, but also policy that encourages and facilitates responsible play.
“We at the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), along with our members, take responsible play very seriously. This is why we continue to advocate for some of the most advanced regulations and practices in the world.
“Collaborating with our members and partners, the CGA has worked hard to encourage policies related to responsible play that are meaningful and based on learnings from other sectors.
“But we should always be looking to do better. Continuous improvement when it comes to player wellbeing is a responsibility that we must own.”
Ensuring Responsible Gaming Practices
A well-defined regulatory framework is imperative in order to successfully be able to uphold responsible gaming practices. For this reason, the Canadian gambling industry operates within this framework.
The CGA plays a crucial role in this integral framework, and thus in the advancement of responsible playing practices in the Canadian gaming industry.
In his statement, Burns remarks on the following:
“Canada is a world leader in creating an environment that encourages responsible play. Excellent work is already underway across the country and the results are truly impressive. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) Registrar’s Standards for iGaming, for instance, provide industry-leading standards that work to support player wellbeing.
“In addition, RGC recently launched a global, independent study to conduct ground-breaking research on marketing and advertising that will have a particular focus on online gambling in Canada, with a goal of better understanding the impacts of increased marketing and advertising on all stakeholders. This collaborative project will lead to evidence-informed best practices reflecting the evolving needs of players and the industry. Through this project – and others like it – we are collaborating to build a world-class strategy to encourage responsible play.”
In addition to this, in the concluding remarks of his statement, Burns states the following:
“At the CGA, we see part of our role as telling this story, rolling up the impact, and helping to ensure a coordinated industry-led effort. The wellbeing of our players and communities is of utmost importance. [...] If we continue to do what’s right, and if our industry comes together, gaming can be Canada’s next growth industry.”
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