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UFC betting just got banned in Ontario over ‘integrity concerns’

Dana White’s Contender Series - Campbell v Duncan Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Like Dalton said when trying to clean up the Double Deuce: “It will get worse before it gets better.”

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) recently handed down a province-wide ban on UFC betting “due to non-compliance with AGCO’s betting integrity requirements,” according to a report from ESPN on Thursday, just a few weeks after the wagering scandal that overshadowed UFC Vegas 64.

“UFC does not prohibit all insiders from betting on UFC events, which could include an athlete’s coach, managers, handlers, athletic trainers, medical professionals or other persons with access to non-public information,” according to the AGCO statement. “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.”

Just hours before the UFC Vegas 64 fight card, held on Nov. 5 at the APEX facility in Las Vegas, the pre-fight betting line saw a colossal shift in favor of Shayilan Nuerdanbieke to win by first-round knockout. Once the bout got underway, opponent Darrick Minner appeared to injure his knee and was finished in just over a minute.

Minner is coached by former UFC welterweight James Krause, who previously bragged about his gambling income despite the potential conflict of interest. Krause was subsequently suspended in the wake of the betting scandal and prevented from attending UFC Vegas 65 when the promotion made its return to APEX later in the month.

UFC denied any unethical behavior in regards to the events at UFC Vegas 64 and later updated its Code of Conduct to include a ban on betting. It appears that net was not cast wide enough to satisfy AGCO’s standards.

In addition, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement recently prohibited “Garden State” sportsbooks from taking bets on any fight involving James Krause as a fighter, promoter, trainer, or coach. Minner is also facing disciplinary action after failing to disclose his pre-fight injury.

Don’t be surprised to see other territories follow suit.

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