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Alberta lifts ban on UFC betting

With James Krause suspended, Alberta allows betting on UFC fights

With ban of James Krause, Alberta will allow betting on UFC events
With ban of James Krause, Alberta will allow betting on UFC events
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The Alberta ban on betting on UFC fights is over.

In the wake of the UFC and the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) taking action against James Krause, which included banning the coach and any of his associated fighters from taking part in UFC events, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) in Canada has reversed its provincial restrictions on UFC gambling.

“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,” the AGLC wrote in a statement to MMA Fighting.com. “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.”

Alberta was the second Canadian province to bar registered operators from any accepting bets on UFC fights. The decision was reached on December 1, the same day the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) ceased to take bets on all UFC bouts.

At the time of the ban, the AGLC told TSN, “As of Dec. 1, AGLC stopped offering and accepting wagers on UFC events due to possible risks of wagering integrity. Previously placed UFC wagers on PlayAlberta.ca have been voided and the stake returned to the player.”

Krause is under investigation for betting irregularities during the Nov. 5 UFC Vegas 64 contest between his fighter, 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, noticed the suspicious activity 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 potential source of the betting irregularities at its next commission meeting.

On December 2, the UFC announced the Nevada State Athletic Commission had suspended as it worked on its investigation. At the same time, the UFC informed any fighters coached by Krause at his Glory MMA gym would not be allowed to participate in any UFC events during the investigation. The statement also announced Minner’s release from the UFC.

The AGCO has not commented on lifting its ban.