The defence for gambling on pro-wrestling

After listening to the question and subsequent discussion about betting on wrestling events, I thought I’d explain my reasons why I like to do so.

First of all, gambling on anything should be for fun, if someone has a gambling problem, they should not be betting on anything. The fact there’s a wrestling market does not help nor hinder this fact.

Secondly, here in the uk, the wrestling market is usually found in the novelty bets categort. It’s there for fun.

And thirdly, it really is a lot of fun. As “smart fans” the result of a match really doesn’t matter, but when you have a vested interest in who wins and who loses, staged in the colourful dramatic world of pro wrestling. It becomes the most exciting event. I’ve found myself jumping around the living room at 2am on a Monday morning cheering on Zack ryder in a meaningless ppv match. It gives me back the rush of excitement I had as a child when I was cheering on wrestlers simply because I wanted them to win.

The royal rumble in particular, is a very exciting market to take part in, picking a number for instance, then the favourite comes out at that number is a mark out loud moment, but then the nerves and excitement of every spot they are involved in becomes enjoyable.

Lastly, I’d disagree that there is no element of skill involved. You have to be aware of how often and how quickly things can change, so it gives opportunities to see what underdogs are worth taking a punt on. You also have to be aware that the matches and placement of matches have a knock on effect, so for instance if it’s looking like a heel heavy show, it’s worth picking 1or2 midcard babyfaces on the show.

Whether I win or lose, I pay for the experience this gives me, and am happy to do so. Before the network, I was happy to pay for most ppvs, now I still pay, may get some of the money back, or more, and I enjoy the experience a lot more than I would otherwise.

1 Like

Fact :point_up:

Also true and it’s not available in he vast majority of places in the US

This is the entire reason one of my close NYC friends is into wrestling. Despite how bad he says Raw and Smackdown are, he loves network events because he gets to bet on them and have rooting interest.

There is an absolute advantage if you know the trends of the company. Betting against somebody in their hometown. Betting on likely story line directions. Knowing who the company values. Knowing how they tend to get outa poorly booked situations with bs finishes. There’s a list of these things to consider like with anything.

Also, I 98.7% of the time bet underdogs so I am not putting up good money to win a little. It’s always a little money and hoping to go 40% with my picks so to turn a profit (related to WWE, UFC slightly different) In 2019 I tracked every WWE bet I made and I ended up $8.50. This year I’m down $3. This is not a money making activity it’s a cost of entertainment thing and for fun and to make Raw Tag Team title match 82 watchable to me.

1000% co-sign, the resident gambling degenerate of the Live Watch Alongs,
MJ from NJ

1 Like

I grew up with a Dad who was a pretty big gambler to the point where he was probably addicted to it, so that might have spoiled the fun for me. But, I get why people do it and would see it as fun. I just never found gambling to be fun myself. The only pro wrestling event I could see being thrilling to put money on would be the Royal Rumble match because there are so many different prop bets you can partake in, and some years there are usually a couple of arguments for at least a handful of guys or ladies to win it.

1 Like

I’ll share these 3 antidotes about the skill involved:

  1. Years ago I spotted Gronk on the set of Sportscenter Live From Mania. Immediately texted my buddy I watch and bet on these shows with and said they prob will have him do something in the Andre Royal Rumble to get the ESPN coverage. We bet Mojo 45-1 to win based on my thinking Gronk would get involved. That is exactly what happen and remains one of the best WWE watching moments we’ve had ever. We still howl about it today. Knowing how WWE views celebrities mattered.
  2. In 2019 when Hulk Hogan came out at Mania I turned to my same buddy an said let’s bet Kofi to win the title, no way they has racist Hul Hogan come out and they don’t put the title on Kofi since the New Day has been outspoken. Again, knowing the backstage stuff mattered and we again won.
  3. This year I predicted Goldberg to squash the Fiend because the Goldberg win would be setting up him at Mania as a big name attraction. Knowing this mindset helped us win.

Sure there are times we are wrong, but those examples are some good ones where my thinking about it from wWE perspective all helped win on underdog picks. It’s a different type of handicapping but still requires knowledge and insight nonetheless.

Gambling is absolutely not for everyone and can be very addictive and not fun. I only mean to highlight actual thought behind it beyond just who I want to win or think should win a match. My sharing these experiences is not to encourage anyone to do it themselves as it can be a slippery slope.

My friends and I gambled on the AEW pay per views last year. It was fun cuz none of us knew who any of the guys were so we just picked whoever we “thought” should win. It was like $2 a match and it was just to give us some rooting interest.

If you’re betting on Bovada or Bet365 or one of those other sites… eh. In my opinion sports betting with offshore books should only happen from an investment perspective and trying to actually turn a profit. So if you’ve got an inside scoop or have calculated some sort of edge on one guy or another, have at it. But in my experience beating the offshore books is damn near impossible, especially in regards to “sideshow” bets like wrestling, elections, TV show results, etc. They juice the shit out of all the lines and even if you “win” you’re pretty much guaranteed to be a long term loser and may as well go piss up a rope.

Degenerate gambling with no game plan or strategy to turn a profit isn’t my idea of a good time, but to each their own.

1 Like

An interesting point I wanted to bring up is that wrestling can (and is meant to be) unpredictable. Whether this makes gambling on wrestling more fun or more stupid i’m not really sure lol.

In the predictions contests we have done before the average % of correct pics for the board was approx. 70%. Scoring / Standings / Results - POST Forum Prediction Contest

So even hardcore fans who follow the behind-the-scenes of wrestling still are wrong 30% of the time.

1 Like

While on the subject, my question is say I was a writer for WWE. Couldn’t I just tell him I froze the results?

I tried to bet Gallows and Anderson as surprise appearances at Mania, but Vegas said no. :grimacing: :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Highlighted some key words here: Surprise, it was not, and my name is spelled MJ not Vegas. Will let this slide @RocketKing
RIP Prediction Contests - those were fun to grade! (til they were not)

1 Like

I know the biggest conspiracy of this was when Brock suddenly spiked to a favorite vs. Taker before breaking the streak. Outside of that, the favorites are usually so far ahead that they are dumb bets anyway. There have been times I’ve seen big swings in odds (somebody goes from being a +240 underdog to a -150 favorite). I’m not sure what measures are in place to prevent gambling by insiders but it is highly illegal and I would suspect if somebody was busted it would in no way be worth it to them. It’s also a very niche market. Not exactly doing big volume in bets.

I also fully agree with @McGuire72; we do it thu 5Dimes and my buddy who places them is a pretty regular gambler so these are just a fraction of his action and ultimately for fun. I think that is why we don’t see Draftkings or other online domestic platforms offer them. For the offshore books that are difficult to cash out on, it’s just a suckers play so doing it for fun is fine (IMO)

If it was proven he was a wwe employee, certainly in the case of uk bookmakers, he would not be eligible through terms and conditions, and could possibly face criminal convictions.

However online bookmakers here, often use their anonymous “in the know” customers, to determine odds on novelty bets such as the transfer window bets, so will allow it. I’d imagine it may be the same if someone was particularly successful on wrestling events.

1 Like

The main measure in place on the bookie’s end would be limiting the amount of action/risk they are willing to take on an event. On Pinnacle Sports the max bet on an NFL point spread on Sunday is usually somewhere $10-15k because the book knows how tight the line is.

With wrestling outcomes obviously being predetermined, the biggest safeguard in place would be a maximum bet amount somewhere in the area of $100. That way even if Vince himself managed to stay anonymous and pull off the ultimate heist, they would only be at risk of losing a few hundred bucks. And at that point it isn’t even close to being worth it to pull such a stunt.

1 Like

I usually put in my bets early then avoid looking at the odds on the day. That being said, if you ever have any gronk-style insider knowledge in the future, feel free to pass it along. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

I also avoid updated odds to avoid spoilers.
I’ve now heard John and Wai discuss this.
Understand where they are coming from but I continue to defend placing bets on wrestling in the spirit of fun/entertainment. To be honest I rather lose $50 on an event where I have a rooting interest on matches that don’t mean sht va spending $60 on a ppv like the pre network days on matches that don’t mean sht. Unfortunately WWE doesn’t build cards that have interest top to bottom so I opt to create my own interest. Whereas NJPW and AEW have cards that feel important too to bottom, I have no interest in betting them. It really comes down to what makes wwe entertaining these days

1 Like

I understand the risks and troubles some have with gambling. I just don’t understand why betting on wrestling seems to be a particularly dark and dangerous part of it. Not sure about gambling laws in North America and Canada but in the UK, most gamble using betting apps on their phone, with them you can do in-play betting which encourages you to bet during an event and for some to chase their losses which is far more dangerous. With wrestling bets, the book is closed before the event has started, you have your bets in and that’s it.

1 Like