Tabcorp Sportsbook Banned from Taking Bets on the Biggest UFC 193 Event in Australia for Fear of Integrity Issues of Corruption and Match Fixing
The UFC’s biggest money making event in the history of the sport, UFC 193, Rousey vs Holms for the Bantamweight title was indeed 2015’s ‘Upset of the Year’. Many sportsbooks lost heavily after the reining and defending 135lb champ was dethroned by boxing champ turned MMA fighter Holly Holms.
However for Tabcorp, one of Australia’s and the world’s largest publicly listed gaming companies, was not allowed to take bets on the recent UFC event in Melbourne. Tabcorp was banned by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation amidst warnings that the UFC was vulnerable to money laundering activities in terms of organized crime and corruption.
This was a first for its kind with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation refusing betting activities for a sporting event. The Commission said in a statement that,
“In determining the application the VCGLR formed a view that UFC does not have appropriate policies or measures in place as required by Victoria’s gambling laws.”
The Holms and Rousey fight attracted more than 55,000 attendees, breaking previous UFC PPV event records. Therefore, the Commission was concerned about the number of complaints, banning any and all betting activity on the event.
Victoria police responded saying,
“Any sport where there are two people competing against each other and where a betting agency is taking bets, is open to corruption. The risk of corruption increases where the betting agency operates offshore and is not under the regulatory environment of the VCGLR.”
However, the UFC’s executive vice-president Tom Wright stated that he was “baffled by the regulator’s decision.” UFC stated that the organisation takes “a series of robust integrity measures in place” to ensure such organized crimes and corruption does not happen.
However, under the laws in Australia, the Victorian gambling commission controls Tabcorp because it is licensed in Victoria.