WWE Is Pursuing Legalized Betting On Scripted Matches: Report
Could gambling on wrestling matches become a thing? According to CNBC, Gaming Control Board officials and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) met to discuss the possibility of allowing gamblers to place real money wagers on scripted WWE matches. Specifically, high-profile matches on WWE. They are targeting Michigan, Colorado, and Indiana with the proposal. This would be a first in the U.S. market.
A spokeswoman for the Colorado Division of Gaming told Legal Sports Report, “It has never considered allowing markets on WWE betting.” The Michigan Gaming Control Board told the outlet that information is shared publicly through the agency’s website with updates.
The state of Michigan currently allows betting on pre-determined events. That includes 25 markets listed for the Academy Awards in Michigan’s betting catalog. There are no legal U.S. sportsbooks that accept bets on professional wrestling. This is because events are scripted, so some people know the results. However, sports betting companies like Draft Kings have offered free betting pools for WWE Pay-Per-View events with prizes.
Sports betting plans for the company emerged since the return of Vince McMahon as WWE executive chairman. Currently, the professional wrestling company is for sale and is seeking a buyer. According to Business Insider, McMahon reportedly wants to sell WWE for at least $9 billion.
“WWE is working with the accounting firm EY (Ernst & Young) to secure scripted match results in hopes it will convince regulators there’s no chance of results leaking to the public,” said CNBC’s Alex Sherman. EY has worked with award shows, including the Emmys and Academy Awards to keep their results secret. Betting on those award shows is legal. Reports say the WWE wants a similar setup for a legalized betting system and will ensure that the wrestlers won’t know the results of their matches until a few hours before the match takes place.