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The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) has announced its adoption of the ProhiBet program to bolster its adherence to gambling regulations, particularly in identifying and preventing unauthorized betting activities involving fighters and other individuals associated with the promotion’s MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) matches.
ProhiBet is a joint venture between Odds On Compliance and U.S. Integrity, the UFC’s official betting integrity partner. UFC pointed out that ProhiBet, an encrypted system introduced earlier this year, has been developed with the primary objective of safeguarding sports integrity and ensuring compliance with state-specific regulations.
Through the ProhiBet program, wagers made by prohibited bettors, defined as UFC athletes, coaches, employees, and officials, will be closely monitored and flagged by regulatory bodies and relevant organizations, ESPN reports.
“ProhiBet’s cutting-edge technology provides a secure and transparent method for sports properties, both professional and collegiate, and sportsbook operators, to ensure that athletes, coaches, and league/school administrative staff remain compliant with the intricate web of state regulations that govern sports betting activities,” the UFC said.
This move comes in the wake of a federal investigation initiated by the FBI last year, focusing on suspicious betting behavior related to a match between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke on November 5. The investigation resulted in suspensions for Darrick Minner, his coach James Krause, and his teammate Jeff Molina, pending multiple government inquiries.
In a proactive measure, UFC fighters will now receive compliance training via a video presentation on sports betting, facilitated by U.S. Integrity. The video clearly outlines that prohibited bettors include individuals possessing insider knowledge of participants in MMA matches.
“These prohibited insiders can be a coach, manager, handler, athletic trainer, medical professional staff, relative living in the same household as an athlete and/or any person with access to non-public information regarding participants in any match,” the video says, as per the ESPN report.
“In many instances, these fighters did not realize they were not only violating state regulations, but also state laws by wagering on their own event,” it said.
Furthermore, the video emphasizes that under the UFC athlete conduct policy, any form of wagering on UFC fights, whether individual or through third parties, may lead to offenders facing contractual penalties, suspension, or termination.