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World Wrestling Entertainment is reportedly pursuing a partnership with various states to allow fans to bet on wrestling matches.
According to CNBC, the wrestling promotion is in talks with gaming regulators in Michigan and Colorado to legalize sports wagering for future events. Colorado has denied any reports of a potential deal.
WWE has since registered with the Indiana Gaming Commission.
The news is making people more stunned than well, a Stone Cold Stunner.
Let’s start with the obvious – this is professional wrestling we’re talking about. The WWE literally describes themselves as “wrestling entertainment.”
Oh, and if you didn’t know…
*** WARNING: SPOILER ALERT ***
Yes, sorry to break the news, but the results are predetermined. Multiple parties will always know the results before the public does. Hence, why the whole idea seems confusing and downright crazy in the first place.
THE REPORT RAISES MANY QUESTIONS
CNBC detailed how the wrestling promotion intends to actually pitch the sportsbooks in order to make wrestling betting a legalized reality.
The WWE would utilize Ernst & Young (EY) which is a global accounting firm that does have some experience in this space. They are the firm that works with various award shows such as the Oscars and the Emmys, that help to keep the voting results a secret until they are announced on stage.
CNBC said that according to their sources, WWE is using EY’s previous experiences as leverage to essentially argue that “if EY does it for the Oscars, why can’t the WWE do it?”
The report goes on to say that the wrestling promotion would essentially have storylines locked away months in advance, and only inform wrestlers of the results in the hours leading up to their matches.
That’s a problem within itself.
As someone familiar with how the wrestling industry works, and who has spoken with wrestlers, promoters and former executives, I can confirm that there is A LOT that goes on behind the scenes. Sometimes match results are changed only a small amount of time before the actual match. The company can’t be tied down to things they submitted to EY months in advance and be expected to be held accountable to those results. And when you add in betting line movement from betting public, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Sports betting has already faced serious questions from fans and bettors about the integrity of their books. Just look any time an NFL referee blows a call that has an impact on the game. Absolute meltdowns from people that had money on the game.
Sportsbooks and states wanting to jeopardize the ethics of the very industry they’re supposed to represent by allowing wagers on pre-scripted matches is just insanity. Not to mention, it would be hard to guarantee that the wrestlers, producers and others in the know don’t leak any results ahead of time to friends or family members. There’s just far too many questions that could have serious ramifications.
The Colorado Gaming Commission has since released a statement that denied any talks of a potential agreement with the WWE. The statement reads in part: “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.”
One thing’s for certain, if somehow the WWE was able to pull this off it would be MASSIVE. The timing also would be ideal – recent reports suggest the WWE is looking to sell the company. If they are able to leverage a sports betting deal as well, it would astronomically raise the selling price.
OutKick reached out to the WWE repeatedly for comment but never heard back.