UFC Executive Vice President Lawrence Epstein has publicly backed the expansion of legalised sports betting in the United States. Speaking to US news source ESPN.com, Epstein urged the US senate to address the need for proper regulation and frameworks in order to allow legalised sports betting.
Epstein stated that unlike the four major US sporting associations (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB) which have challenged New Jersey’s attempt to allow sports betting, the UFC’s governance backs the expansion of sports betting in the US and sees it as benefit to professional sports and it representative associations.
Epstein told ESPN, “sports betting may enhance sports as opposed to doing anything to hurt it. Sports wagering is already done in Nevada, which is properly regulated, this should give more confidence to the fans that games and fights aren’t fixed”.
Commenting on New Jersey sports betting, Epstein stated that the UFC had no issue with allowing sports bets on UFC fights/events as long as they were maintained in controlled/legalised premises.
“To the extent that there’s nothing illegal about taking bets on UFC in the state of New Jersey, we’d be absolutely fine with it,” Epstein commented to ESPN
Last week NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated in an interview with sports media portal Bleacher Report that legalised sports betting in the US was inevitable and that efforts should be placed to create a regulated market for US consumers with the help of the US Pro Leagues association.