UFC fighters and their teams will no longer be allowed to gamble on their fights and be in accordance with promotion policy.
Monday, UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell notified the promotion’s roster and athlete managers of a change to the “UFC Athlete Code of Conduct” that now covers athlete wagering.
MMA Junkie acquired a copy of the email, as well as an updated version of the “UFC Athlete Code of Conduct” from a person who asked to remain anonymous as the promotion did not publicly publish the documents.
“In light of clear direction that we have received from regulators responsible for the regulated sports betting industry in the United States, we are compelled at this time to recognize in the UFC Athlete Conduct Policy certain restrictions relating to wagering by our athletes, members of their teams and certain others,” Campbell wrote.
“… In order to assist our athletes in understanding their obligations under the laws of the majority of states in which sports betting is permitted, and in further support of these integrity measures, UFC has incorporated a wagering prohibition into the UFC Athlete Conduct Policy expressly prohibiting athletes from wagering on any UFC match.”
The full amendment entitled “Wagering” reads:
“Athletes are prohibited from placing any wagers (directly or through a third party) on any UFC match, including placing any wagers on themselves. In most states with legalized sports betting, wagering by an athlete (directly or through a third party) on any MMA match put on by a promoter with which they are affiliated is illegal and may result in criminal sanction. Athletes should also be aware that in most states these same prohibitions apply to some or all of (i) relatives living in the same household as an athlete, (ii) an athlete’s coaches, managers, handlers, athletic trainers, medical professionals and staff, and (iii) any other person with access to non-public information regarding participants in any MMA match. An athlete that becomes aware or has knowledge of any wagering in violation of these restrictions must immediately notify UFC of such incident in accordance with this UFC Athlete Conduct Policy.”
The updated policy on wagering does not prohibit fighters from sponsorship deals with sports books. Many gambling websites pay athletes to post their predictions on social media, often with discount codes, to draw in new users to their books.
News of the change in policy was first reported by Yahoo Sports, which received the update from Campbell prior to fighter notification.
“As gaming has grown nationwide, we’ve been in contact with the overwhelming majority of regulatory bodies,” Campbell told Yahoo Sports. “It has been made clear to us that a large percentage of regulatory bodies prohibit what they would consider inside betting with people who are active participants in the sports that they bet.”