Ontario lifts betting ban after changing UFC code of conduct in wake of Krause gambling scandal

Ontario lifts betting ban after changing UFC code of conduct in wake of Krause gambling scandal

Betting on UFC events is legal again in the province of Ontario. On Thursday, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced that it had resumed wagering following a suspension that went into effect December 1, 2022, due to “concerns about failure to comply with AGCO’s wagering integrity requirements.”

AGCO’s December action followed betting irregularities surrounding a Nov. 5 UFC fight between James Krause-trained Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke. The problems with betting and injury disclosure related to that fight led to the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspending Krause, Minner and Jeff Molina pending the results of the investigation.

On Thursday, AGCO wrote on its website:

On December 1, 2022, following alleged incidents, including possible betting by UFC insiders, and reports of suspicious betting patterns in other jurisdictions, AGCO ordered all registered Ontario gaming operators to stop offering and accepting bets on UFC events. Since that date, AGCO has been actively engaging with regulated companies and stakeholders working to address the issues.

To protect the betting public, AGCO’s Registrar’s Standards include rules to protect against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other sports betting integrity issues. In particular, sports and events betting providers must ensure that sporting events on which they offer bets are effectively overseen by a governing body which, as a minimum, must prescribe rules and enforce codes of conduct that include prohibitions on insider betting. Integrity safeguards must also be in place sufficient to mitigate the risk of match-fixing and other illegal activities that could affect the outcome of bets on events.

Today the UFC announced that it has updated its policies and procedures. Specifically, the UFC has:

Amended its Athlete Conduct Policy to prohibit all Insiders from placing bets, directly or through third parties, on any UFC game, including betting on themselves.

Clarified that the same betting prohibitions apply to an athlete’s coaches, managers, support staff, athletic trainers and others affiliated with the athletes or the UFC, and violations by these insiders may result in disciplinary action against affiliated contract athletes.

have given pledges for improved monitoring and action against insider betting by strengthening their internal processes.

Reaffirmed their expectation that their contracted athletes report any matter that may raise integrity concerns.

Engaged in a betting integrity monitoring relationship with US Integrity, an independent sports integrity monitor registered with AGCO, to identify and analyze unusual betting activity as an indication of potential integrity concerns.

In light of these actions, the registrar is satisfied that the betting integrity concerns that have been raised have now been addressed and is therefore allowing registered gambling operators to resume offering UFC-related bets. Operators must continue to comply with all applicable Registrar’s standards and AGCO will continue to monitor compliance with the standards. AGCO is aware of the ongoing investigations in other jurisdictions and will monitor the findings and actions related to those investigations.

Alberta also banned betting on UFC fights on December 1. However, the province lifted that ban shortly thereafter, stating at the time: “With the UFC’s recent announcement that Krause, his managers and fighters will not be allowed to attend UFC events until the Nevada State Athletic Commission investigation is complete, Alberta Gaming , Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) reintroduced UFC betting markets on PlayAlberta.ca. Protecting consumers in Alberta is of the utmost importance to AGLC. We will be vigilantly monitoring the situation and ensuring players continue to have safe play opportunities at Play Alberta.”

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