Suspected Toronto Residents Arrested in Ontario iGaming Scam Investigation

Quick Intro

A joint effort between the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) uncovered an online gaming fraud ring in July 2022. This investigation was prompted by reports of identity theft linked to the OLG’s online gaming site, olg.ca. In August of the same year, AGCO received additional reports of fraudulent activity, specifically in the sports betting section of the platform.

After months of diligent investigation, law enforcement executed a warranted search on July 13, 2023, in North York, leading to the discovery of numerous electronic devices and fraudulent documents tied to non-gaming criminal activities.

What Happened?

On December 21, 2023, two individuals, Ernesto Rasing, aged 38, and Elaiza Mae Paculanan, aged 20, both residents of Toronto, were formally charged. Rasing faces charges including fraud, identity theft, and possession of forged documents, while Paculanan faces various offenses related to fraud, identity theft, and an additional charge for violating probation. Both suspects were released from custody and are set to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto.

Reporting Cybercrime Encouraged Amid iGaming Fraud Crackdown

Ontario authorities urge anyone who suspects 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.

These arrests underscore the ongoing efforts of law enforcement agencies to combat fraudulent activities within the online gaming sector. As the popularity of online gaming continues to grow, authorities remain vigilant in their pursuit of ensuring platform integrity and security.

Simultaneously, Ontario’s iGaming market has experienced a resurgence, with significant increases reported in the third quarter of the 2023-24 fiscal year. This includes a substantial rise in total wagers, amounting to $17.2 million, and total gaming revenue of $658 million, marking a 22% increase compared to the previous quarter. These statistics account for the operations of 49 legal operators and 72 gaming websites in the province, with approximately 1.2 million active player accounts during this period.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the collaboration between Ontario authorities has been instrumental in uncovering and addressing fraudulent activities within the province’s online gaming sector. As they work tirelessly to maintain the integrity of these platforms, they also encourage the public to report any suspicious cybercrimes promptly.

The resurgence of Ontario’s iGaming market is a positive sign, with substantial growth in wagers and revenue. This suggests that while challenges exist, the industry continues to thrive, providing entertainment and opportunities for players while ensuring a secure and regulated environment.