Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario reinstates betting on UFC events in province

TORONTO — Ontario bettors can again wager on Ultimate Fighting Championship events.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) reinstated betting on UFC events in the province Thursday. On Dec. 1, the organization ordered registered entities to stop offering and accepting wagering on the UFC "due to non-compliance with AGCO's betting integrity requirements"

But on Thursday, the commission said the UFC has since "updated its policies and procedures." The changes include an amendment to UFC's athlete conduct policy to prohibit insiders from placing any wagers on any match.

The organization has also established a relationship with U.S. Integrity, an independent sports integrity monitor to analyze unusual wagering activity. As a result of the UFC's policy and procedure changes, the AGCO is "therefore permitting registered gaming operators to resume offering UFC-related bets."

"The AGCO is committed to protecting Ontario players and the integrity of its betting market," Tom Mungham, the ACGO's registrar and CEO, said in a statement. "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."

In an email to The Canadian Press, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. said its customers can expect a return of UFC events on its Proline platforms.

Ontario's sports-betting market opened fully April 4.

Riche T. McKnight, UFC's executive vice-president and general counsel, said the promotion's association with U.S. Integrity "UFC will strengthen its current integrity controls by adding expertise in data intelligence and fraud prevention.

'There is no greater responsibility we have to our athletes, fans, and business partners than to ensure the integrity of our sport,” McKnight added. "Throughout this process, we have had productive discussions with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to address the concerns AGCO expressed to their operators."

The reinstatement of UFC wagering in Ontario comes ahead of the mixed martial arts promotion's first pay-per-view event of 2023. UFC 283 is scheduled to take place Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

The AGCO is responsible for regulating the alcohol, gaming, horse racing and private cannabis retail sectors in Ontario.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2023.

The Canadian Press