The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), the government branch that performs regulatory functions for liquor and gambling, has imposed a betting ban on UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Despite having attracted massive viewers and punters globally, Aussie's Victorian State gambling regulatory body has banned Tabcorp, a sports betting firm, from taking bets in the recent UFC event in Melbourne.
The UFC ranks among the topmost valuable sporting franchises and the recent ban made by the Victorian State on UFC betting made a clear reproach over the franchise's sport betting integrity.
An article in the Sydney Morning Herald that was published Jan.3, 2016, stated that the state's gambling regulatory commission banned Tabcorp from taking any bets with last year's UFC 193 event that took place November of last year. The event not only attracted 56,000 people to the Etihad Stadium, but the appeal of the sport along with the fighters of the main event made it receive a massive global audience with more than a million PPV buys.
According to the paper, the reason for the ban was due to "vulnerable to corruption and money laundering by organized criminals." The ban created a stir in the gambling industry as this was the first time the VCGLR refused an official request to permit punting on a sports event.
A spokeswoman from the regulatory body has confirmed that it had prohibited Tabcorp from taking any wagers on any of the UFC 193 fights, saying that "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." She also added, the "UFC does not have appropriate policies or measures in place as required by Victoria's gambling laws."
The highlight of the UFC 193 was a title bout between current world champion Ronda Rousey against Holly Holm, a kickboxing expert. The fight shocked the world as the seemingly undefeatable Rousey, in a stunning upset, got knocked-out in the second round.
Although the Victorian Gambling Commission have banned UFC betting, its regulatory control does not extend to offshore and interstate sports betting gaming operators. The amount of money wagered on betting operators is unclear and that no figure can be ever be precise.