The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has officially required local sportsbooks to stop offering UFC betting odds. This ruling stems from concerns regarding sports betting integrity. UFC betting in Ontario is hereby barred from being available at both retail and mobile sports betting operators.
Let’s look more at the details behind this decision.
No More UFC Sports Wagering
The reasoning for the decision stems from the UFCs policy on staff sports betting. The UFC allows coaches, managers, athletic trainers, medical personnel, and several others to wager on fights. This is in stark contrast to the AGCO’s Registrar’s Standards.
“The Standards exist to protect the betting public and to provide the necessary safeguards against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other integrity issues,” said Tom Mungham, Registrar and CEO, AGCO. “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.”
The official rules set by the AGCO state that the sporting event must hold integrity safeguards to mitigate potential cheating. This includes match-fixing and other external factors that could affect the outcome of the event.
With those involved in matches able to wager, the AGCO does not see the UFC as a product that follows these requirements. There were other factors that led to the decision to remove UFC odds from sportsbooks.
The AGCO reports that publicized incidents of potential suspicious betting patterns played a factor. Potential insider information has been affecting betting action. The goal of removing UFC odds is for the betterment of public interest according to the AGCO.
Could This Spark A Trend?
Ontario marks the first market to bar a major sporting event like the UFC from its sportsbooks. It is possible for other markets to follow suit should the UFC continue to appear compromised in its integrity.
The US market is littered with states that have restrictions on college sports betting. Some do not allow wagers on local teams or events to take place in the state. New Jersey’s college sports betting laws come to mind.
No professional league has been banned, however, which makes the Ontario decision a major game-changer. It is not farfetched to assume other markets could follow. For now, there is no indication that bettors in other regulated regions would lose out on UFC odds in Ontario.
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