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Alberta becomes second province to ban UFC betting, cites ‘risks of wagering integrity’

Alberta becomes the second Canadian province to halt betting on UFC fights

The UFC Vegas 64 fight between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke has launched investigations into betting
The UFC Vegas 64 fight between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke has launched investigations into betting
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

A second Canadian province has stopped taking bets on UFC fights. One day after Ontario banned betting on UFC events, Alberta followed suit.

“As of Dec. 1, AGLC stopped offering and accepting wagers on UFC events due to possible risks of wagering integrity,” said Lynden McBeth, senior communications officer for Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC). “Previously placed UFC wagers on PlayAlberta.ca have been voided and the stake returned to the player.” (via TSN).

This news comes one day after the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced:

In order to protect the betting public, effective immediately, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is requiring all registered casino, lottery and igaming operators that offer sport and event betting products in Ontario to stop offering and accepting wagers on Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events due to concerns about non-compliance with AGCO’s betting integrity requirements.

The Registrar’s Standards include rules to safeguard against odds manipulation, match-fixing and other sports betting integrity issues. Operators must specifically ensure that:

For sporting events being bet on, the event must be effectively supervised by a sport governing body which must, at minimum, prescribe final rules and enforce codes of conduct that include prohibitions on betting by insiders; and

There are integrity safeguards in place which are sufficient to mitigate the risk of match-fixing, cheat-at-play, and other illicit activity that might influence the outcome of bet upon events.

Contrary to the Registrar’s Standards, the UFC does not prohibit all insiders from betting on UFC events, which could include an athlete’s coaches, managers, handlers, athletic trainers, medical professionals, or other persons with access to non-public information.

In recent weeks, the AGCO has learned of publicized alleged incidents, including possible betting by UFC insiders, as well as reports of suspicious betting patterns in other jurisdictions.

Therefore, the AGCO is now taking this step in the public interest. AGCO has indicated to operators that, once the necessary remedial steps have been taken, they may provide information demonstrating that UFC bets or betting products meet the Registrar’s Standards.

McBeth added, “AGLC will continue to monitor standards implemented by UFC before reinstating betting options on Play Alberta. We are continuing to monitor the situation. Once we are confident that UFC’s regulator body is effectively protecting fighters, fans and bettors, AGLC will give every consideration to reinstating betting markets on PlayAlberta.ca.”

This news comes the same day that the UFC announced that the Nevada State Athletic Commission had suspended the license of MMA coach James Krause. Further, the NSAC informed fighters who continue to fight out of Krause’s Glory MMA gym that they will be barred from participating in UFC events until pending investigations are complete.

Those investigations stem from the UFC Vegas 64 fight between the Krause-coached Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke.

In the hours leading up to that fight, which took place at the UFC Apex, Nuerdanbieke moved from a -220 favorite to -420. U.S. Integrity, a company that investigates betting irregularities, caught the line movement and notified sportsbooks. The organization also noted increased bets for Nuerdanbieke to win via first-round knockout and for the bout to last fewer than 2.5 rounds.

The bets that came in on Nuerdanbieke, who had zero previous finishes with the UFC, cashed when Nuerdanbieke capitalized on a preexisting injury to Minner’s leg and scored a knockout win just one minute and seven seconds into the first round.

Along with U.S. Integrity, the UFC is conducting its own investigation into the fight via its betting integrity partner Don Best Sports.

Further, the NSAC plans to address the betting irregularities at its next commission meeting.