This week, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario reported that it will be saying farewell to its Chair of the Board of Directors, Lalit Aggarwal. The Chair intends on stepping down from the role to spend time on his family and business affairs. Now, the Board’s Vice-Chair, Heide Reinhart, will take over his responsibility as an interim Chair.

Mr. Aggarwal has been a loyal employee of the gambling regulator. In June 2019, he became the commission’s Chair of the Board of Directors, and for the last four years, he was a strong and values-oriented leader. During that time, he managed to build and lead a diverse Board of Directors for the agency. However, he has decided that his time with AGCO must come to an end.

-Mr. Aggarwal Will Depart

During his tenure, Mr. Aggarwal helped enhance governance practices and structure with the regulator, including the launch of robust sub-committees and the commission’s subsidiary iGaming Ontario. He also had a major part in navigating the Board and AGCO through the turbulent times of the unprecedented situation and overseeing numerous initiatives along the way.

Some of his achievements over the years include regulatory changes made to support the alcohol, horse racing, gambling, and cannabis sectors to mitigate the negative economic impacts of the unprecedented situation. He also oversees the creation and launch of an internet gambling conduct and management structure paving the way for Canada’s first open internet gambling market.

Launched on April 4, 2022, Ontario’s sector for online gambling and sports betting was a major success for the province. In its first 12 months of work, it generated CA$35.6 billion in total wagers which translated into CA$1.4 billion in revenue. Meanwhile, active player accounts had an average spend of around CA$70 every month on iGaming.

In addition to that, Mr. Aggarwal supervised the regulatory oversight that allowed for the growth of the robust cannabis retail sector. Furthermore, he also supported countless charitable gaming modernization initiatives, and implement the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario’s recommendations.

After the announcement of his resignation, AGCO extended its sincere gratitude to the Chair for his strong and principled leadership through the years. It wished him all the best in all of his endeavours. As mentioned, Ms. Reinhart will now become interim chair of the Board of Directors. She is part of AGCO since 2020 and was appointed as Vice Chair in September 2021.

-Protecting Horse’s Wellbeing

Last week, AGCO reported that it will be fining and suspending Standardbred trainer Carol Voyer, after the death of the racehorse, Cams Lucky Sam. Putting the integrity of horse racing in Ontario first, the regulator issued monetary penalties of CA$11,000 and a three-year suspension to the trainer. Her suspension goes into effect on July 19, 2023, and will apply to July 18, 2026.

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