October 31 Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will take action against unlicensed operators. 

Written By Janice Doughtrey

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has announced that from October 31 2022, it will take action against operators that haven’t obtained licenses in the jurisdiction. This move comes in response to the growing number of unlicensed cannabis dispensaries in the province, which the AGCO says are “operating illegally and outside of the provincial regulatory framework.” As a result, the AGCO urges unlicensed dispensary operators to apply for a license as soon as possible or face “enforcement action,” which could include fines, closures, and prosecutions.

What is the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario?

The AGCO is the provincial regulator responsible for administering the Liquor Licence Act and regulating alcohol, gaming, and horse racing in Ontario. The AGCO was created on April 1, 1996, by combining the Alcohol Control Commission of Ontario and the Ontario Racing Commission.

The AGCO’s mandate is to ensure that alcohol is sold and consumed safely and responsibly, to promote public interest in and enjoyment of lawful gaming, and to ensure the integrity of horse racing.

The AGCO’s announcement follows a similar crackdown on unlicensed cannabis stores in Ontario. The province has so far issued over 300 cease-and-desist orders to unlicensed cannabis stores, and

What is the new regulation?

The new regulation stipulates that all operators offering online gambling services to players in the province of Ontario must obtain a license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). This includes both online casinos and sports betting sites. The AGCO will begin enforcement action against any operators that have not obtained a license from October 1, 2019.

This is a significant change for the online gambling industry in Ontario, as until now, there has been no requirement for operators to obtain a license to offer their services to players in the province. The new regulation will likely result in several unlicensed operators ceasing to provide their services to players in Ontario or risk facing significant fines from the AGCO.

It is important to note that obtaining a license from the AGCO does not guarantee that an operator can offer their services without restriction – they may still need additional permissions depending on the types of games they offer and the jurisdictions they wish to target. However, getting a license from the AGCO will at least allow operators to continue offering their services to players in Ontario without fear of enforcement action from the regulator.

When does the new regulation take effect?

The new regulation takes effect on October 1. Operators without licenses in the jurisdiction will be subject to action from the AGCO.

How do I obtain a license from AGCO?

To obtain a license from AGCO, potential operators must first submit an application form that can be found on the AGCO website. The application form must then be forwarded to AGCO with the appropriate fee. Once the application is received and processed, AGCO will issue a license to the operator.

To obtain a license from the AGCO, operators must meet specific requirements, including being at least 19 years of age and having no criminal convictions related to alcohol or gaming.


The AGCO’s announcement is a positive step towards ensuring that all Ontario gaming operators operate legally and within the bounds of the law. This will create a level playing field for all businesses and help to protect consumers from being taken advantage of by unlicensed operators. We urge all gaming businesses in Ontario to ensure that they are licensed and compliant with the law to avoid any penalties or actions from AGCO.