Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Reinstates UFC Betting; Will Ontario Follow?

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Reinstates UFC Betting; Will Ontario Follow?
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

On Friday morning, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) announced they were reinstating UFC betting markets on PlayAlberta.ca after the UFC said earlier it had suspended James Krause, the coach at the centre of a betting integrity investigation.

Said the AGLC this morning in a statement: “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.

 
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“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.”

The question now is what the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will do, after it announced Dec. 1 all registered Ontario sports betting operators in the province were banned from offering or accepting wagering on UFC.

They appear not to be lifting the ban just yet.

“The AGCO is aware of UFC's statement last week, and is encouraged by their commitment to integrity,” an AGCO spokesperson told Ontario Bets. “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. 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.”

Despite all the coverage around the issue, it’s interesting to note the UFC so far hasn’t been generating a lot of betting action on Ontario betting apps. One popular sportsbook had them ranked eighth in handle before the ban, behind basketball, football, soccer, hockey, tennis, baseball and cricket, in that order.

UFC 282 is being held tomorrow in Las Vegas, led by a title fight with light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz squaring off against contender Magomed Ankalaev.

 
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Ontario Wagering Highlights

According to OLG, one Proline customer wagered $20,000 on the Chicago-Golden State total over 229.5 points a few days back for a payout of $35,000. 

A $2,000 wager on a four-leg NBA parlay (New Orleans, Phoenix, Boston and L.A. Lakers) earned one customer a payout of $15,872. And a $20 wager on an eight-leg NFL parlay earned a Proline customer a $3,883 payout.

Over at DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario, one bettor turned a $5 bet into a $9,187 payout, on a NBA field goal parlay (first field goals by Kawhi Leonard, Fred VanVleet, Kevin Durant and Trae Young).

 
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Where Ontario Stands With Licensing

It’s 35 and counting, in terms of legal entities in the province with operating agreements with iGaming Ontario, offering Ontario casino apps and sports betting sites.

Ontario online casinos and sports betting became legally regulated April 4.

 
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Contributors

Mark Keast

Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.