The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is now requiring all casino, lottery and iGaming operators that offer sport and event betting products in Ontario to halt wagering on UFC events.
This has come about due to concerns about the UFC’s non-compliance with AGCO’s betting integrity requirements and its responsibility to “protect the betting public.”
The AGCO Registrar standards that have been purportedly breached pertain to safeguarding against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other sports integrity issues.
According to these standards, operators must ensure that: “For sporting events being bet on, the event must be effectively supervised by a sport governing body which must, at minimum, prescribe final rules and enforce codes of conduct that include prohibitions on betting by insiders.
“There are integrity safeguards in place which are sufficient to mitigate the risk of match-fixing, cheat-at-play, and other illicit activity that might influence the outcome of bet upon events.”
Contrary to these standards, the UFC does not prohibit all insiders from wagering on UFC events. These ‘insiders’ include athletes' coaches, managers, medical professionals, handlers, athletic trainers, or other persons with access to non-public information.
In recent weeks, the AGCO has been informed of publicized alleged incidents, including possible betting by UFC insiders, as well as reports of suspicious betting patterns in multiple UFC events.
AGCO Registrar and CEO Tom Mungham commented: “The Standards exist to protect the betting public and to provide the necessary safeguards against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other integrity issues.
“This is not a decision we take lightly, knowing the popularity of UFC events in Ontario’s sportsbooks.”