Ontario bans UFC betting over “integrity issues”
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has banned all UFC betting, it was announced on Thursday.
The AGCO decided to ban the UFC from its sportsbooks due to integrity concerns. The AGCO oversees the regulated gaming industry in Ontario, requires sports governing bodies to enforce codes of conduct that include prohibitions on betting by insiders and to have sufficient integrity safeguards in place to mitigate the risk of match-fixing.
According to a statement, the AGCO, the UFC does not prohibit all insiders from betting on UFC events, which could include an athlete’s coaches, managers, handlers, athletic trainers, medical professionals, or other persons with access to non-public information.
Along with that, the AGCO says in recent weeks, they learned of publicized alleged incidents, including possible betting by insiders, as well as reports of suspicious betting patterns in other jurisdictions.
UFC banned fighters, coaches from betting in October
“The Standards exist to protect the betting public and to provide the necessary safeguards against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other integrity issues,” Tom Mungham, Registrar and CEO, AGCO, said in a statement. “This is not a decision we take lightly, knowing the popularity of UFC events in Ontario’s sports books. However, the risks of insider betting on event and wagering integrity should be highly concerning to all. It certainly is to us. We will continue to work with gaming operators, the OLG, iGaming Ontario and UFC to ensure that wagering on UFC events meets the AGCO’s Standards.”
Of course, the UFC announced on Oct. 18 that fighters and their teams were banned from betting on fights. In a memo, chief business officer Hunter Campbell wrote that it was from the direction of the regulators.
Immediately, all legal sportsbooks in Ontario have removed odds for all upcoming events. However, the AGCO has indicated to operators that, once the necessary remedial steps have been taken, they may provide information demonstrating that UFC bets or betting products meet the Registrar’s Standards.
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