Sports bettors in Ontario can no longer make picks on the UFC.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has reportedly ordered regulated sportsbooks to stop offering and accepting bets on UFC because of “integrity” concerns.
“This is not a decision we take lightly, knowing the popularity of UFC events in Ontario’s sports books,” AGCO registrar and CEO Tom Mungham said in a statement.
“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.”
Ontario sports betting operator were told:
“The AGCO takes the position that the bets and betting products related to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events do not meet the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming.”
According to Legal Sports Report, the operators have already removed the UFC, and one operator said that they have cancelled all UFC fights on their platform and have removed MMA from its sports list.
The news follows the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s decision to not offer any fight that involves MMA coach John Krause as a “coach, trainer, promoter or fighter.”
The UFC has been under ongoing investigation of Darrick Minner – who Krause coached – vs. Shayilan Neurdanbieke, which took place as a featherweight bout on the UFC Fight Night 214 card.
Suspicions grew after the odds changed drastically just hours heading into the fight. A rumor leaked that Minner sustained an injury, prompting bettors to pick Nuerdanbieke with a first-round finish – which inevitably happened.
Minner and Krause have reportedly been suspended.
In October, the UFC attempted to crack down on sports betting by prohibiting UFC fighters, trainers and teams from gambling, whether they’re involved or not.
But the ACGO is still unsatisfied.
“Contrary to the Registrar’s Standards, 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.
In recent weeks, the AGCO has learned of publicized alleged incidents, including possible betting by UFC insiders, as well as reports of suspicious betting patterns in other jurisdictions.”