The UFC has partnered with Prohibet, an online monitoring company, to prevent fighters and their camps from illegal betting on fights.
Under the partnership, the promotion will send a list of people prohibited from betting on UFC fights to an encrypted platform maintained by Prohibet. An alert is sent to the UFC and online bookmakers when Prohibet determines a prohibited user may be involved in betting, Prohibet Managing Director Matt Heap told MMA Fighting.
The partnership, announced today by the UFC, comes eight months after the promotion partnered with betting watchdog U.S. Integrity, which previously conducted an investigation into suspicious betting activity around Darrick Minner vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke at UFC Vegas 64 this past November.
Betting lines shifted dramatically for a Nuerdanbieke win in the hours before the fight, which the Chinese fighter won in the first round. Minner later revealed he had suffered an injury in training camp and he and his coach, James Krause, were subsequently suspended by the overseeing Nevada Athletic Commission for failing to report it. Krause, who prior to the fight spoke openly about an online betting service he maintained via a Discord server, was later identified as the target of a federal investigation into the fight. According to ESPN.com, Krause worked with an offshore betting company and remains under investigation.
The UFC moved swiftly to manage the crisis, initiating a ban on fighters and their teams betting on octagon fights. Fighters who worked with Krause were also told they would be released from the promotion if they continued to train with him. Krause has not commented publicly on his suspension or the alleged investigation.
According to ESPN.com, UFC fighters were sent a U.S. Integrity training video on Wednesday that stated “anyone with inside knowledge of participants in MMA matches” is prohibited from betting, including, “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.”
Heap said the list of prohibited bettors is at the UFC’s discretion and acknowledged that monitoring of specific individuals depended on the laws of the state in which they reside, though typically that means anyone who potentially has “undue influence” on the event, or “insider information that the public wouldn’t have access to.” He added it was also possible for fighters to use proxies to make illegal wagers, though he said geolocation data could be used to flag suspicious activity.
“Because you have somebody at the UFC fighting center, logging in under Jane Smith’s login credentials, and it’s like, ‘Well, wait a minute, that’s not where Jane Smith would be,’” he said.
It’s not clear whether UFC fighters are prohibited from wagering on sports other than MMA; the promotion did not respond to a request for comment.
ProhiBet is a joint venture between U.S. Integrity and Odds On Compliance, a compliance technology and consultation firm in the sports betting and gaming industry.