RGC raises awareness of Responsible Gambling

You may have noticed an increase in marketing and advertising for online gambling and sports betting over the past two years. Ever wondered why…?

In April 2022, after the Canadian legalization of single-event sports betting, the regulation of iGaming was expanded in Ontario, introducing new legal online platforms and single-event sports betting platforms to Ontarians. 

Leading up to the launch of this open market, there was a dramatic increase in marketing and advertising targeted at Ontario consumers as operators tried to make their brands known to players. Now- 2 years later as the market settles, there continues to be a strong presence of gambling advertising as operators continue to compete for market share. 

There continues to be a strong need for community outreach and public education campaigns to balance out the gambling advertising that is occurring in Ontario and importantly help support a safer online gambling culture.

This is why organizations like The Responsible Gambling Council are important.  

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to the reduction and mitigation of harms associated with gambling.

For 40 years, RGC has worked to reduce gambling harms by creating and delivering innovative awareness and prevention education programs in Ontario and beyond. RGC promotes the adoption of improved play safeguards through best practices research, standards development, and the RG Check accreditation program.

Funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health RGC offers evidence-based prevention programs across Ontario focused on Youth, Young Adults and identified at-risk ethnocultural communities (more specifically South Asian, Chinese/Asian, and Indigenous populations).  Programs range from interactive workshops and community activations, community and organizational training and social marketing campaigns which include two popular PSAs that you may have seen on tv:

“While there isn’t a lot of data available, we do know that there is some indication of additional emerging communities that are experiencing harms from gambling, “says Melissa Toney-Williams, Associate Director, Prevention Programs at RGC.  “A few of those communities are the African-Caribbean community and the Southeast Asian community.  We are looking at ways to connect and better understand attitudes and beliefs about gambling which will support us in our public education efforts to broaden our reach in sharing responsible gambling messaging- and to ensure that we are reaching those that need this important information”.

To support a culture of safer gambling practices, the public needs to be informed of the risks associated with gambling and how to minimize those risks. RGC programs seek to educate populations on the risks associated with gambling and, importantly, how and when to seek help should a problem arise. RGC is committed to bringing together all sides (operators, regulators, treatment, community agencies and the public) to ensure consumer safeguards are in place to support safer gambling practices as well as support and resources available to help those at risk because of the strong belief that gambling should never come at a human cost.  For more information about Responsible Gambling Council, please visit their website at Responsible Gambling Council.

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