Ontario sportsbooks must cease offering WBA bets

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Ontario-registered sportsbook operators are now required to stop offering wagers on World Boxing Association events, effective immediately.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is requiring this step by taken to protect the Ontario betting public following concerns that WBA-sanctioned boxing matches are not adequately being safeguarded against match-fixing and insider betting.

Since December 2023, the AGCO has been conducting a comprehensive review of suspicious wagering activity on a WBA-sanctioned title fight between Yoenis Tellez and Livan Navarro that was held in Orlando, Florida. Suspicious betting patterns on the bout lasting over 5.5 rounds were reported to the AGCO by two registered independent integrity monitors and detected in Ontario by a registered igaming operator.

Media reports also alleged that Tellez’s Manager placed $110,000 on the match lasting longer than 5.5 rounds at a Florida casino. The bout ended with Tellez knocking out Navarro in the 10th round.

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Following an intensive review that included outreach to the WBA, Ontario-registered gaming operators, independent integrity monitors, and regulators in other jurisdictions, the AGCO has concluded that bets related to WBA events do not currently meet the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming.

“Ontarians who wish to bet on sporting events need to be confident that those events are fairly run, and that clear integrity safeguards are in place and enforced by an effective sport governing body,” said Dr. Karin Schnarr, registrar and CEO, AGCO.

“Knowing the popularity of boxing in Ontario, we look forward to reinstating betting on WBA events once appropriate safeguards against possible match-fixing and insider betting have been confirmed.”

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