Two Toronto Residents Charged in Connection with Online Gaming Fraud
In a recent development, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have charged two individuals from Toronto in connection with fraudulent activities related to online iGaming sites regulated by the province. The arrests mark the culmination of an extensive investigation into allegations of identity theft and fraud on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (OLG) iGaming platform.
The investigation, which began in July 2022, was a collaborative effort between the OPP and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Reports of identity theft related to the OLG’s online gaming site, olg.ca, prompted the commencement of the investigation. Subsequent allegations of fraudulent activity on the platform’s sports betting section were reported to AGCO in August of the same year.
After months of investigation, law enforcement executed a warranted search at a residence in North York, resulting in the seizure of multiple electronic devices and fraudulent documents linked to non-gaming criminal activities. Following this operation, on December 21, 2023, the OPP formally charged Ernesto Rasing, aged 38, and Elaiza Mae Paculanan, aged 20, in connection with the case. Both individuals are facing a range of charges including fraud, identity theft, and possession of forged documents.
Subsequently, both accused individuals were released from custody and are scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto to answer the charges.
In light of these developments, Ontario authorities are urging individuals who suspect they may have fallen victim to cybercrime or fraud to promptly report it to their local police department or utilize the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system. The arrests highlight ongoing efforts by law enforcement agencies to combat fraudulent activities within the online gaming sector.
On a separate note, the iGaming market in Ontario has experienced a resurgence, with significant increases in metrics reported in the third quarter of the 2023-24 fiscal year. This includes a notable rise in total wagers, reaching $17.2 million, and total gaming revenue of $658 million, indicating a 22% increase over the previous quarter. These figures account for the operations of 49 legal operators and 72 gaming websites in the province, with approximately 1.2 million active player accounts recorded during this period.