The Alcohol and Gaming Commission's organizational structure is based on functional responsibilities with internal 'checks and balances' on the exercise of the agency's powers and authorities. The following diagram illustrates these relationships.
Further information about the AGCO´s organizational structure follows:
Chair and Board
The Board of the AGCO is created by statute and has the functions and responsibilities that are assigned to it by statute. The provincial government appoints members to the Board of the AGCO. The Chair of the AGCO provides leadership and guidance to the members of the Board. The Board ensures the AGCO exercises its powers and duties in the public interest in accordance with principles of honesty, integrity and social responsibility.
The Board is responsible for corporate governance, including managing AGCO affairs in accordance with the law, and through the approval and monitoring of internal policies.
Chief Executive Officer
The Chief Executive Officer, under the direction of the Board, provides leadership and direction to the staff of the AGCO. The Executive Office shapes the values, principles and major operating policies of the AGCO, provides strategic direction and leadership to the various operating Branches of the AGCO, and ensures the AGCO fulfills its regulatory mandate in an effective and efficient manner. Advice is provided to the Board, and the annual Business Plan for the AGCO is prepared and presented to the AGCO Board for consideration and approval.
Communications & Corporate Affairs Division
This Division leads the AGCO Business Plan development, handles issues management, develops strategic policy and acts as the primary governmental liaison. The group also provides strategic communication advice and services to the AGCO by recommending and executing programs to manage media relations, handling stakeholder publications and AGCO websites, as well as builds an understanding and acceptance of organizational objectives, policy and program priorities through regular communication with staff.
Legal Services Division
The Division provides a broad range of legal services such as reviewing Notices of Proposals, representing the Registrar and Deputy Registrar at Hearings, providing advice and opinions to AGCO staff and on corporate issues e.g. Freedom of Information, drafting legislation and contracts, and assisting in policy development. Counsel represent the Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing at hearings before the Licence Appeal Tribunal under the LLA, HRLA, and GCA, and prepare appeals to the Divisional Court and to the Court of Appeal.
Corporate Services Division
Corporate Services Division – Human Resources, Information Technology, Finance & Administration
The Division provides strategic advice and guidance and key support services, including information technology, human resources including the administration of the collective agreement, and finance and administration, to the AGCO and its operating programs.
Licensing & Registration Branch
The Branch is responsible for the AGCO´s licensing and registration function. Staff review and process applications for liquor sales licences, liquor delivery service licences, manufacturer´s and sales representative´s licences, and ferment on premise facility licences to determine eligibility for licensing. In addition, the Branch is responsible for the administration of the Special Occasion Permit program (the Liquor Control Board of Ontario issues SOPs on behalf of the AGCO), and on-site and off-site retail store authorizations. Gaming industry staff also review and process applications to determine eligibility for lottery licence events under Order in Council 1413/08 and registrations for gaming operators, suppliers and gaming assistants under the Gaming Control Act, 1992.
In 2015, the Government of Ontario introduced legislation – the Horse Racing Licence Act to integrate horse racing into the province’s gaming strategy. This included transferring the regulatory responsibilities for horse racing from the ORC to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The AGCO issues over 15,000 licences to individuals and businesses involved in the horse racing industry. A large part of the licensing function is performed at each track facility and licensing agents are available during live racing for the convenience of licensees. The licensing process includes applications from new racetrack owners, teletheatre locations and individuals involved in the industry (i.e. grooms, trainers, etc.).
Investigation and Enforcement Bureau
The Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) is comprised of approximately 160 Ontario Provincial Police Officers, fully integrated as a Bureau within the AGCO. The Bureau’s three branches are responsible for conducting criminal, provincial and regulatory (eligibility) investigations across all lines of business regulated by the AGCO. It also provides investigative expertise and effective information sharing to external law enforcement, regulatory and industry stakeholder agencies, to ensure integrity and public safety within these regulated industries.
Technical and Laboratory Services Branch
The Branch ensures slot machines operate with technical integrity, safety and security by testing and approving all new electronic gaming equipment, and conducting random and scheduled inspections of approved electronic gaming equipment including changes to installed equipment. Inspections of slot machines, computer systems linked to slot machines and other gaming related systems occur on an ongoing basis.
Audit and Compliance Branch
The Branch conducts compliance inspections and audits at casinos and slot facilities, both scheduled and ad hoc, to ensure compliance with the Gaming Control Act, 1992, the Liquor Licence Act, approved policies, terms and conditions of registrations, and anti-money laundering and terrorist financing measures. As well, Audit and Compliance approves and monitors applicable internal control measures, and surveillance and security policies and procedures, to help protect honesty, integrity and the public confidence in casino and lottery operations in Ontario. If areas of risk or non-compliance are identified, the Branch works proactively with gaming registrants to address those concerns and, when necessary, initiates administrative action. The Branch also investigates and responds to complaints that pertain to regulatory issues at individual gaming sites and reviews audits of wine manufacturers to ensure compliance with the Wine Content and Labelling Act, 2000 and its associated policies.