According to the original reporting done by CNBC, the WWE has been in talks with regulators in Colorado and Michigan to legalize sports betting on high-profile WWE fights, citing sources close to the matter.
WWE Keen to Explore Betting on Scripted Fights as an Option
But if the states were to clear this type of betting, that would only raise integrity concerns observers believe, as the outcomes of fights would be known and the possibility of a leak – high. WWE is reportedly working with Ernst & Young, an accountancy firm, to prove that the results of such fights would not be known to the public beforehand nor that they would leak out of the organizaiton.
Ernst & Young has previously advocated for the legalization of Academy Awards betting, and worked to keep the results a secret, proving that it’s possible to know an outcome beforehand and still have a fair betting market on the activity. WWE is of a similar mind, as the Oscars are already supported as betting markets in some places in the country, so why would sportsbooks hesitate to offer WWE fights, which are a form of entertainment for the most part rather than a pure athletic contest?
No official comment has been made by WWE officials to further elaborate on the situation, but Colorado has already denied the rumors. The Colorado Division of Gaming spoke to CNBC and briefly said that it had no intention of allowing betting on WWE matches as of right now. Legalizing WWE fights as viable betting events is not a stretch, however.
Scripting the Bets Is Possible, But Requires Some Work
Besides, it could serve as a blueprint for a number of other potential betting markets. For example, sportsbooks can go a bit further and even run bets on which TV show character would die, an especially relevant market if you are a fan of Game of Thrones and its spinoffs. But if any event is cleared for betting, there would have to be new processes involved, which could add to the responsibilities of WWE and other entertainment shows that wish to explore this option.
The information about who wins would have to be decided way ahead and kept under a tight lock and key with only a handful of people traceable back to the outcome. The potential benefits for the WWE are significant as well. WWE, which has been craving better viewership, could use betting to incentivize people to tune in and revitalize flagging numbers.