Two Toronto Residents Arrested in Connection with Online Gaming Fraud in Ontario
Two individuals from Toronto have been charged by police in Ontario in connection with fraudulent activities related to online iGaming sites regulated by the province. The arrests were made after an extensive investigation into allegations of identity theft and fraud on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (OLG) iGaming platform.
The investigation was led by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in collaboration with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). It began in July 2022 when reports of identity theft surfaced regarding the OLG’s online gaming site, olg.ca. Subsequent allegations of fraudulent activity on the platform’s sports betting section were reported to AGCO in August of the same year.
On July 13, 2023, 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, according to an OPP release.
On December 21, 2023, police formally charged Ernesto Rasing, aged 38 and a resident of Toronto, with fraud, identity theft, and possession of forged documents. Elaiza Mae Paculanan, aged 20 and also from North York, has been charged with various offenses related to fraud and identity theft, along with an additional charge for violating probation.
Both accused individuals were subsequently released from custody and are scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto to answer the charges.
Authorities in Ontario encourage anyone who suspects they may have fallen victim to cybercrime or fraud to report it promptly to their local police department or utilize the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system.
The arrests underscore the ongoing efforts by law enforcement agencies to combat fraudulent activities within the online gaming sector. As the popularity of online gaming continues to rise, authorities remain vigilant in their efforts to ensure the integrity and security of these platforms.
Meanwhile, Ontario’s iGaming market has seen 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.