According to CNBC, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is exploring the possibility of legal betting on scripted match results. WWE wishes to enter regulated markets like those for Colorado and Michigan sports betting to offer scripted wrestling matches in those states.
CNBC‘s Wednesday report says that WWE is in talks with Colorado and Michigan state regulators. However, regulators in both states refute that reporting.
WWE is trying to get approval for sports betting
CNBC reported that WWE intends to work with consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) to ensure that scripted match results will not leak to the public. EY also works with awards shows, including the Academy Awards and the Emmys, while keeping results a secret. WWE hopes they can convince state gambling regulators the same pattern can work in wrestling.
Betting on awards shows, like the Oscars, is allowed across multiple US betting platforms. Players can place bets on these shows using platforms like FanDuel and DraftKings. However, no legal US sportsbooks accept bets on professional wrestling.
The WWE usually determines match outcomes weeks in advance which is the biggest concern for regulators prioritizing betting integrity. Even if WWE betting becomes legal, sports betting companies will still decide whether to include WWE odds in their offerings.
Michigan regulators decry WWE talks
The Michigan Gaming Control Board released a statement directly contradicting CNBC‘s reporting. MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said:
“Any request for inclusion in Michigan’s Sports Wagering Catalog must be submitted to the MGCB by a Michigan-licensed operator or platform provider, and the agency has not received a formal request regarding WWE events wagering. The WWE should work with the gaming industry if it wishes to bring a proposal before the MGCB.”
However, the MGCG did confirm that an unnamed third party, not the WWE, had reached out to regulators over a year ago concerning the possibility of adding WWE events to the wagering catalog. According to the MGCB, the dialogue was short.
Michigan regulators were not alone in refuting the WWE rumors.
Colorado Division of Gaming denies considering WWE betting
The Colorado Division of Gaming said it is not considering WWE betting, nor will it allow such a move. In response to the CNBC recent news story, the Colorado Division of Gaming issued the following official response:
“The Colorado Division of Gaming is not currently and has not considered allowing sports betting wagers on WWE matches. At no time has any state gaming regulator in Colorado spoken with the WWE about including wagers on our approved wager list.
By statute, wagers on events with fixed or predicted outcomes or purely by chance are strictly prohibited in Colorado; this includes wagers on the Academy Awards.”