Gambling on Wordle? It’s Possible If the New Rage Stays Popular, Expert Says

Written By Brant James on January 14, 2022 - Last Updated on January 21, 2022

It’s the daily time-suck of choice right now.

You might be reading this article about Wordle at this very moment, in fact, because you have another several hours to wait for those six maddening-yet-irresistible rows of squares to appear afresh. And you wouldn’t be alone. Launched in October by creator Josh Wordle, the browser-based word game has hooked more than 2.7 million users, is dominating social media, inspired copycats and impostors.

NPR has taken time to address the phenomenon. Of course, there are YouTube videos offering tips for mastery.

But could you one day gamble on it? If you’re going to stare at those gray, green, and yellow letters, be mocked by those empty white squares, shouldn’t you at least have the possibility of a payoff at the end?

Rick Wolf, a founding member of the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association and the Senior Vice President of Business Development and Fantasy Sports at Spotlight Sports Group, says it’s l-i-k-e-l-y. Wait, that’s six letters.

“Whenever anything is as popular as Wordle, its skill level needs to be determined for legal purposes. If it can be qualified as predominantly skill, it WILL be gamified to tournament play for the 35+ states that have such laws. It is simply creating a mechanism that allows people to compete fairly using existing technology and then have someone be the market maker, the one who takes the money and runs the tournaments for service fees.  If this stays popular much longer, we will 100% see this platform in the near future.”

You’ll just have to wait. But you’re used to that with Wordle. And as long as there is a glimmering memory of the Sharknado video slot machine, Wordle won’t be anywhere near the weirdest pop culture breakout star to become “gamified.”

Photo by Shutterstock, Brant James illustration
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Brant James

Brant James is a veteran journalist who has twice been recognized in the Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, most recently in 2020. He's covered motorsports, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball among a myriad of others beats and written enterprise and sports business for publications including USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com.

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