RGC Ontario Wants To Cultivate a “Holistic, Public Health Approach to Minimizing Gambling Harms”

The Responsible Gambling Council of Ontario’s Director of Standards and Accreditation, Tracy Parker, tells us more.
The Responsible Gambling Council of Ontario's Director of Standards and Accreditation, Tracy Parker, tells us more.
By
May 05, 2022

When all sides work together, it creates a more holistic, public health approach to minimizing gambling harms and protecting players and communities.The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) of Ontario has said that it would love to see the industry work together in order to “create a more holistic, public health approach to minimizing gambling harms.” The RGC is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to preventing and mitigating gambling harm and focusing its efforts on keeping Ontarian players safe, as well as looking further afield.

The RGC works with all sides of the live and online gambling industry to create a safe and secure environment for players. Responsible gambling practices are at the RGC’s core, with the organization stating that “gambling should never come at a human cost.”

The comments come as part of a wide-ranging interview with Casino Shield — a part of a trio of sites dedicated to educating players on ways to stay safe at online casinos, poker rooms, or online sportsbooks.

When asked what the RGC would love to see happen from a responsible gambling perspective within the online gambling industry as a whole, Director of Standards and Accreditation, Tracy Parker, said:

“When all sides work together, it creates a more holistic, public health approach to minimizing gambling harms and protecting players and communities. From an RG perspective, it would be collaboration. When all sides work together, it creates a more holistic, public health approach to minimizing gambling harms and protecting players and communities.”

These sentiments are echoed elsewhere in the industry, with Kindred’s Head of Responsible Gaming and Research, Maris Catania telling Poker Shield that she would love to see the “industry work more closely with each other, where we can communicate better and help by sharing data. I would like to see the same level of collaboration amongst regulators and more sharing of data.”

When safer gambling publication Sports Shield asked Flutter plc the same questions it also said something similar: “While we will continue to lead a race to the top in safer gambling, we believe it requires the whole industry — operators, trade associations, and regulators — to support each other if we’re going to bring about meaningful progress.”

Parker went on to add: “For example, addressing issues associated with financial harm (which often leads to other types of harm, as well as the harm that can extend beyond the player to family, employers, and communities) must involve multiple stakeholders such as financial services, payment services, credit counselors, etc. Expanding the conversation would create innovative approaches and lead to more lasting, meaningful change.”

Ahead of the Ontario regulated online gambling market opening up on April 4, 2022, the RGC announced it was working with the province regulators — the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and iGaming Ontario (iGO) — to ensure all online poker rooms, casinos, and sportsbooks take part in the council’s RG Check Accreditation Program.

The RG Check program “requires operators to show an awareness of the complexities of responsible gambling safeguards, as well as a robust approach that includes knowledge sharing, player protection, and access to help.” This includes showing that they have robust policies in the following areas:

  • RG Policy, Strategy, and Culture
  • Employee Training
  • Self-Exclusion
  • Assisting Players
  • Informed Decision Making
  • Marketing Communications
  • Accounts and Payments (iGaming) / Accounts to Money (Land-based)
  • Site and Product Design (iGaming) / Venue and Game Design (Land-based)
  • Stakeholder Engagement (iGaming)

All online gambling operators must meet the criteria as outlined in the RG Check program before they can offer regulated and legal online poker, casino, or sportsbook wagers to players in the province. Operators must achieve a score of 50% in each Standard Area and 70% overall to pass and receive the accreditation.

Learn more about Ontario Online Sports Betting, Ontario Online Casinos, and Ontario Online Poker in pokerfuse’s comprehensive guides »

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