AGCO Orders Suspension of Betting on World Boxing Association Events

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The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has ordered all licensed sports wagering operators to halt betting on events approved by the World Boxing Association (WBA).

Reason for decision:

The watchdog commented that it is worried that the WBA-sanctioned boxing matches are not appropriately protected against insider wagering and match-fixing. Additionally, the regulator investigated, in its exact words, “suspicious wagering activity” during the championship between Livan Navarro and Yoenis Tellez, which took place in December last year.

An online gaming operator licensed in Ontario and 2 independent integrity monitors found “suspicious betting patterns,” according to AGCO. Relatedly, several media outlets claimed that the manager of the aforementioned Tellez invested $110.000 in a bout that lasted over 5 and a half rounds.

Following an investigation, the regulator concluded that events endorsed by the World Boxing Association do not currently comply with the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming. However, there’s the possibility that they will be restored to their former glory if the operators officially regulated by AGCO show that WBA is successfully monitoring its endorsed events.

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An example is that in December two years ago, the regulator ordered operators to halt providing wagers on events related to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) due to identical insider punter worries. Because of this, the UFC applied fresh protocols within a month, resulting in AGCO restoring wagering in the area.

The regulator wishes to cooperate with the WBA in order to restore the WBA events:

Karin Schnarr, CEO and Registrar, commented that the regulator wishes to collaborate with integrity monitors, Ontario operators, and the WBA to restore WBA events. Commenting on that, Schnarr commented: “We don’t take this kind of action very often and so when we do, it really, I think, signals the seriousness of this kind of situation. We have a regulated and an open gaming market here in Ontario and I want people to be confident that if they’re placing a bet in any sports game that is offered by our operators, that they have confidence that it’s going to be a fair match that they’re betting on.”

Furthermore, only a day before this revelation by AGCO, the NBA officially revealed that it had banned the backup center of the Toronto Raptors for good following an inquiry into gambling accusations. The investigation discovered that Jontay Porter breached its rules by unveiling private info to sports punters, restricting his involvement in 1 or more games for wagering on NBA games and wagering purposes.

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However, the regulator didn’t offer the same assistance to the NBA as with WBA.

Every licensed gaming operator in Ontario must ensure that the sport’s governing body successfully monitors the games they permit clients to use their wagers. In addition, this body must enforce and have protocols that prohibit insider wagering.

In this regard, in a follow-up statement, she commented according to CityNews: “The NBA demonstrated how seriously they take matters related to game integrity by promptly and decisively acting on a serious case of alleged insider betting and match-fixing. By contrast, unlike most other sport governing bodies, the WBA’s Code of Ethics does not explicitly prohibit betting by insiders. Additionally, there is no evidence the WBA has made efforts to enforce its Code in relation to this incident.”

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