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UFC enhances hunt to stop betting by fighters, others in MMA

UFC will use the program ProhiBet to expand its compliance with gambling regulations by catching fighters and others around the sport trying to place bets, the promotion revealed Wednesday.

Through ProhiBet, wagers made by prohibited bettors — described in a release as UFC athletes, coaches, employees and officials — would be flagged by regulatory bodies and organizations.

UFC stated ProhiBet, an encrypted system launched earlier this year, was “designed to safeguard sports integrity and ensures the adherence to state-specific regulations.” ProhiBet is a joint venture between Odds On Compliance and U.S. Integrity, the latter of which is UFC’s official betting integrity partner.

“ProhiBet’s cutting-edge technology provides a secure and transparent method for sports properties, both professional and collegiate, and sportsbook operators, to ensure that athletes, coaches, and league/school administrative staff remain compliant with the intricate web of state regulations that govern sports betting activities,” UFC said.

UFC’s use of ProhiBet comes on the heels of an investigation launched by the FBI last year into suspicious betting activity surrounding a fight between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke on Nov. 5.

Minner, his coach, James Krause, and his teammate Jeff Molina have all been suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for their alleged involvement, pending multiple government investigations. UFC told fighters in December they must not train under Krause or they would face a ban. ESPN reported in January that Krause worked for an offshore bookmaking operation for years.

The FBI’s investigation into the matter is ongoing, sources told ESPN.

UFC fighters also will be sent a compliance training video Wednesday regarding sports betting, presented by U.S. Integrity.

The video states that prohibited bettors include “anyone with inside knowledge of participants in MMA matches.”

“These prohibited insiders can be 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,” the video says.

The video states in a graphic that U.S. Integrity “identified a potential illegal betting ring organized by a prominent MMA trainer,” with a photo of Krause above it. The graphic states that U.S. Integrity “turned over all anonymous tips, including details of the illegal ‘bookie’ operation, to the appropriate authorities who issued subpoenas for all involved individuals.”

Another graphic states that, in June 2022, U.S. Integrity identified a fighter who bet on himself for a fight on “Dana White’s Contender Series” with a photo of Dennis Buzukja above the text. The video says the agency has “identified several fighters who bet on themselves.”

“In many instances, these fighters did not realize they were not only violating state regulations, but also state laws by wagering on their own event,” the video says. The video adds that, according to the UFC athlete conduct policy, any wagering on UFC fights individually or through a third party could lead to offenders facing “contractual penalties, suspension or termination.”

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