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AGCO Releases Annual Report

Published: October 19, 2018 10:40 am ET

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This week, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) released its annual report as presented to the province's Attorney General.

The report covers the period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, and includes remarks from Chair S. Grace Kerr and Chief Executive Offer Jean Major. Major's preface to the report appears below.

Over ten years ago, the AGCO began a journey to fundamentally transform how we regulate the alcohol and gaming sectors in Ontario. In 2016, when the regulatory functions of the former Ontario Racing Commission were merged with the AGCO, we began to apply those same principles in the horse racing sector. The overarching goal was to become a leader in innovative regulation, one that is risk and outcomes-based and minimizes the regulatory burden on these three sectors.

Recognizing that the new normal is an environment that is quickly and constantly changing, we understood the importance of positioning ourselves as an efficient, nimble and forward-looking organization. This was critical to ensure that we would be able to lead change in this type of environment. So we began a transformation agenda - a journey so to speak - to modernize our regulatory approach, business processes, and workplace environment. All of which was supported by our strategic planning framework.

2017-2018 was a pivotal year in which we not only saw the culmination of many long-standing projects but the introduction of many new exciting initiatives.

Notably, in May 2017, we successfully launched the first phase of a new electronic service delivery platform - iAGCO - which supports the issuance of licences, permits, registrations and authorizations within the sectors that we regulate. iAGCO is a key achievement for the AGCO as it represents a significant step in modernizing our service delivery model. It also assists in supporting and improving our customer service delivery model. In an increasingly technology-driven society and a commitment to digitizing government, iAGCO supports these goals.

Significant progress was also made in the Horse Racing Regulatory Reform and Engagement initiative with the implementation of rule changes and policy reforms, and the formation of several, key industry working groups.

On the gaming front, we implemented the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming in the lottery sector, launched the regulatory framework for electronic raffles, and began a new, standardsbased approach to electronic gaming inspections at casinos.

Another achievement along our journey has been the launch of an internal initiative we’ve called AGCO 2020, which supports the next phase of our transformation. Focusing on compliance activities, customer service delivery, knowledge management and leadership, these initiatives complement our short- to mid-term efforts on delivering integrated, interactive, and intuitive regulation for the liquor, gaming and horse racing sectors. They serve the public interest by advancing consultative, risk-based approaches to regulation that enhance compliance, increase public confidence and support our customers’ businesses. AGCO 2020 also incorporates our goal of being an employer of choice that actively supports and engages a high-performing work force while envisioning a nimble culture that maximizes the use of technology and fosters innovation, collaboration, and exceptional service.

The path to positive transformation has not always been an easy one, but we have remained committed to our journey. Over this past year, our accomplishments, especially in the AGCO’s compliance functions, have created a more unified, flexible and efficient organizational structure. It is one that allows AGCO to maximize resources, be more collaborative across divisions and be better positioned to deliver on our strategic and business plan priorities.

These changes also ensure that our structure can easily adapt to support ongoing business and regulatory improvements and a more integrated governance structure. We are now also better able to quickly respond to external drivers, including the potential addition of any new regulatory responsibilities to the AGCO’s mandate. AGCO staff continue to show that they are able to successfully embrace the challenges and opportunities that change brings. I want to thank staff for all their efforts in moving our transformation forward. Also, I’d like to thank our stakeholders for the collaborative working relationship we have that has contributed to effecting positive change in the alcohol, gaming and horse racing sectors.

While we have achieved significant milestones, there is still much more to do. I am confident that we will succeed together.

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