REPORT: WWE in talks with state gambling regulators

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/03/08/report-wwe-in-talks-with-state-gambling-regulators/

WWE is interested in working with gambling regulators to allow for legalized betting on matches, according to a report.

Alex Sherman of CNBC states that the promotion has had talks with regulators in the states of Colorado and Michigan regarding legalized betting on “high-profile matches”.

The report adds that WWE is with EY (Ernst & Young) that would secure the secrecy of match results to show the regulators that betting would not be tainted by results leaking before the match.

From CNBC:

If WWE succeeds in its bid to legalize gambling on matches, it could open the door for legalized betting on other guarded, secret scripted events, such as future character deaths in TV series.

Allowing gambling on certain WWE matches would alter how matches are produced – and how storylines are created. In discussions about how gambling on wrestling could work, WWE executives have proposed that scripted results of matches be locked in months ahead of time, according to people familiar with the matter. The wrestlers themselves wouldn’t know whether they were winning or losing until shortly before a match takes place, said the people.

In 2021, WWE entered into an agreement with DraftKings as its official gaming partner that allows for free-to-play pools with DraftKings.

CNBC reached out to representatives of WWE, EY, and gaming regulators in Michigan and Colorado but did not receive a response from those entities.

This has disaster written all over it. I remember the controversy John covered a while back of UFC camps betting on fights when they may have insight to injury. How the hell do you regulate this when so many people see the script. Not to mention, while you want bookers to have long term plans, you dont want them to be locked into something that may not be working. That completely kills any agency the fans may have.

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The one positive would be WWE would then actually have to have definitive winner or losers.

They can’t just tell gamblers that Uncle Howdy made a wrestler disappear and call it a no contest.

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What kind of odds can I get on that?

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WWE Hall of Fame’s Pete Rose to oversee the commission.

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I’m gonna become a millionaire betting on No Contest :+1:

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On Rewind-A-Dynamite John and Wai discussed that WWE would be eager to to this as a huge revenue generating opportunity. But I’m not sure how? It’s not like WWE sees a cut of the bets placed.

There could be more interest in advertising on WWE from gambling sites and Casinos. Which admittedly do have a lot of money to spend on ads. And I guess you could bring in a new audience of gambling addicts that bet on anything.

But I just don’t see it being some new massive revenue stream. Not worth completely changing their booking process for anyway.

It’s got to be advertising. When you watch the NFL, draft Kings is all over the show with ads. I imagine WWE has that in mind. Plus it’s just added exposure.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate it, but I’m guessing that’s the motivation.

I’m pretty sure this can already be done in the UK.
Set your VPN to UK and sign up for SKY bet the week of Mania and betting odds are there to be seen.

Yeah, also legal in some places in Canada.

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I can’t speak for everywhere, but I know that some U.S. gambling outlets already take bets on WWE, but the amounts are SEVERELY capped (I’ve seen as low as $50) for obvious reasons.

I don’t see how a company can set favorable odds on matches where they know the finish without giving the finish away. It’s counterintuitive and would require the oddsmakers to “swerve” the public. The only thing I can think of is that WWE would basically have to insure the oddsmaker and pay them a fee for essentially setting themselves up to lose by setting shit odds to protect kayfabe.

At any rate, I don’t see how a gaming commission could be OK with this.

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Colorado apparently said not interested already as recently as last night.

The betting companies don’t know the winner prior. They can set the odds however they want.

For example with the Oscars, Vegas doesn’t know who the best winner picture is today. And the casinos can set the odds based on what they think the favorites are. And then payout on who wins.

You’re right. I think I’m misinterpreted this part to mean the oddsmakers would know results as well. My fault.

Yeah having Ernst & Young know the results is solely for the regulators to show that people inside & outside of the company couldn’t bet already knowing the results.

The Casinos and betting public honestly probably wouldn’t care if results are changed at the last minute. And that could be another option for WWE to use. Instead of saying they have a winner locked in secrecy for months before they could say they don’t have a booked winner until minutes before it happens.

I guess the point is to reaffirm that betting action won’t change the booking. But to me, it just highlights one of the reasons why it’s a dumb idea.

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I did solid in the G1 competition last year, so maybe I’ll keep an eye on this… :muscle: