TORONTO — The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is requiring all registered casino, lottery and igaming operators to stop offering and accepting wagers on Ultimate Fighting Championship events.
That comes after the commission says it learned of recent alleged incidents involving possible betting by UFC insiders, as well as reports of suspicious betting patterns in other jurisdictions.
U.S. Integrity, a betting integrity firm, launched an investigation after several sportsbooks reported suspicious wagering on a Nov. 5 featherweight bout between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke.
The AGCO says the order to stop wagers on UFC events is due to concerns about non-compliance with betting integrity requirements.
Betting standards in Ontario include rules to safeguard against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other issues.
Sport events must be effectively supervised by a sport governing body that must prescribe final rules and enforce codes of conduct that include prohibitions on betting by insiders.
The commission says that once necessary remedial steps have been taken, operators can provide information demonstrating that UFC bets meet established standards.
"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," Tom Mungham, the AGCO's registrar and CEO, wrote in a statement.
"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."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2022.