Mixed martial arts (MMA) series the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has amended its rules and regulations to ban fighters from betting on UFC fights.
Fighters will be prohibited from placing bets on any UFC match, including those in which they are competing. This applies to athletes wagering directly or through a third party.
The UFC noted that most states in the US already have a ban in place on UFC fighters betting on official UFC matches, with any breaches of this rule being deemed illegal and may result in some form of criminal sanction.
In the majority of states, this ban extends to some or all relatives living in the same household as an athlete, as well as an athlete’s coaches, managers, handlers, athletic trainers, medical professionals and staff, or any other person with access to non-public information regarding the UFC.
In addition, the UFC’s rules and regulations now read that any athlete who becomes aware or has knowledge of any breach of its rules should reporting this to the UFC immediately.
Launched in 1993, the UFC is owned by Endeavour. In September last year, Endeavour, which also owns IMG Arena, agreed to acquire the OpenBet sports betting division from Scientific Games, which is now known as Light & Wonder.
The initial deal was worth $1.20bn (£1.08bn/€1.23bn), but this was reduced by $400m to $800m in July of this year to help speed up the acquisition.
The deal was to complete in the the second quarter of 2022, but this was pushed back to the end of September – a date that was also not met.