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Ontario ‘encouraged’ by UFC ‘commitment to integrity,’ but betting remains suspended on UFC events

Dana White ‘not shocked’ provincial government overreacted’

Dana White commented on Canadian Provinces banning UFC betting
UFC president Dana White commented on Canadian Provinces banning UFC betting
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

While Alberta has lifted its restrictions on betting on UFC fights, the first Canadian province to suspend betting on UFC events, Ontario, has yet to take that same step.

Both Provinces had suspended betting on UFC fights after an investigation was launched into gambling activity surrounding Darrick Minner’s fight with Shaylilan Nuerdanbieke at UFC Vegas 64: Rodriguez vs. Lemos on November 5, 2022. Minner lost that fight by first round TKO, after it was clear he was suffering some form of leg injury.

The betting lines dramatically shifted days before the fight, with Minner’s odds of winning plummeting.

After the investigation was launched Minner was released from the UFC. Minner’s coach James Krause, who had been offering gambling advice online, was also suspended from the promotion along with all fighters who train under him at Glory MMA & Fitness.

On Friday, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) stated, “With the recent announcement by the UFC that Krause, his managers and fighters will not be permitted to participate in UFC events, pending Nevada State Athletic Commission’s investigation, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) has reinstated UFC betting markets on PlayAlberta.ca. Protecting consumers in Alberta is of the utmost importance to AGLC. We will remain vigilant in monitoring the situation and ensure players continue to have safe and secure gaming opportunities on Play Alberta.”

Despite Alberta again taking bets on UFC fights, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is keeping its ban in place for now, but there might be some light at the end of the tunnel.

“The AGCO is aware of UFC’s statement last week, and is encouraged by their commitment to integrity. Protecting the betting public by providing the necessary safeguards against the risk of insider betting on event and wagering integrity is a high priority to the AGCO,” The AGCO wrote in a statement to Bloody Elbow. “We recognize the recent steps taken and are committed to engaging with Ontario’s gaming industry, UFC, the OLG, and iGaming Ontario to ensure that the UFC has the necessary betting integrity framework in place, in particular relating to wagering by UFC insiders.”

UFC president Dana White, in speaking to TSN before Alberta lifted its ban, said he was “not shocked” that the provincial government “overreacted” in banning betting on UFC fights while the investigations into betting irregularities at UFC Vegas 64 play out.

White added that the UFC instituted ban on Glory MMA fighters is fluid, “everything is until the investigation is over,” said White.