The AGCO, or Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, is an arm of the provincial government. They have a mandate to regulate the alcohol and gaming industries with foundations of honesty and integrity towards the public interest. Obviously, gambling and booze are special products that require special laws and special agencies to govern them, similar perhaps to the regulation of other dangerous products like firearms or volatile chemicals.
Not so long ago, there was a time when gambling was illegal. Going back a few more decades, there were towns and villages throughout the province that were ‘dry’ – alcohol sales were not permitted there. Many towns and areas stayed dry even after nation-wide prohibition ended in this country in the 1920’s, after massive social pressure to repeal it.
My own home town of Midland was one such dry town. I remember my father telling me about the neighboring community of Penetanguishene that was ‘wet’ – it filled up with many bars to accommodate all the Midland traffic.
A quick look at the history of prohibition in this country shows that people have persistently chased after their alcoholic beverages, and continuing along a long line of historical loosening the provincial liquor licence laws have now become even more liberal.
The AGCO is the agency to enforce these laws, and make sure the public interest is protected at bars and licenced establishments across Ontario. If you want to see what information the AGCO provides to establishments, workers in the industry and the public, check out their website.