The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has announced that regulated sports betting operators in the Canadian province may resume offering bets on Ultimate Fighting Championship events.
Wagering on the UFC was suspended when an insider betting probe began last year. The probe is still ongoing.
On Dec. 1, 2022, following alleged incidents, including possible betting by UFC insiders, and reports of suspicious betting patterns in other jurisdictions, the AGCO required all registered gaming operators in Ontario to stop offering and accepting wagers on UFC events.
“Since that date, the AGCO has been actively engaged with regulated entities and stakeholders as they worked to address the issues,” the regulator said.
“In order to protect the betting public, the AGCO’s Registrar’s Standards include rules to safeguard against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other sports betting integrity issues. Sport and event betting operators must specifically ensure that sporting events they offer bets on are effectively supervised by a governing body which must, at minimum, prescribe rules and enforce codes of conduct that include prohibitions on betting by insiders.”
The UFC has updated its policies and procedures to prohibit all insiders from placing any wagers directly or through a third party on any UFC match, including placing wagers on themselves.
“Given these actions, the Registrar is satisfied that the betting integrity concerns raised have now been addressed and is therefore permitting registered gaming operators to resume offering UFC-related bets,” the Ontario regulator said.
“Operators must continue to meet all applicable Registrar’s Standards and the AGCO will continue to monitor compliance with the Standards. The AGCO is aware of ongoing investigations in other jurisdictions and will be monitoring the outcome and actions related to those investigations.”
Tom Mungham, Registrar and CEO, AGCO, said in a statement:
“The AGCO is committed to protecting Ontario players and the integrity of its betting market. With the legalization of single-event betting last year, the AGCO created strong new rules to protect bettors in Ontario. We are pleased these rules are already working to strengthen the integrity of sports betting in Ontario and, as a result, of UFC competitions around the world.”