Monday 4. January, 2016

Victorian Gambling Regulator Banned Tabcorp Betting on UFC

For the first time, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) has denied an official request to allow wagering on a sporting event. The VCGLR banned Tabcorp from accepting bets on a UFC cage fighting event in Melbourne in November following warnings from law enforcement agencies that there are suspicions of corruption and money laundering in the sport.

A spokesperson for the commission stated that “UFC does not have appropriate policies or measures in place as required by Victoria’s gambling laws” and Tabcorp’s application would therefore be denied.

“It is unlikely a regulatory agency would direct bookmakers not to list a sport without either conclusive betting fraud data or credible insider information from within the sport,” stated Chris Eaton, head of sports integrity at the International Center for Sports Security. “And the Victorian regulator is recognised globally for efficiency and effectiveness.”

However, while the regulator was able to refuse Tabcorp’s application, it is unable to prevent offshore or interstate gambling operators from targeting sports that the regulator has integrity concerns about. Being licensed in Victoria, Tabcorp is the only betting company that the VCGLR has control over.

UK bookmaker, Ladbrokes expanded into Victoria and offered wagering on cage fighting events after these events were legalised by the Andrew’s government in March 2015. Darwin-based CrownBet offered wagering on Victorian boxing and mixed martial arts events, although it may have contravened Victorian laws with an inducement it offered to new punters and this is currently under investigation.

Offshore bookmakers and the impact they have on the local market are a primary subject of a governmental review being led by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell.

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