While a report Wednesday suggested two states will consider allowing betting on scripted WWE matches, at least one of the states strongly denied it.
The CNBC story suggested Colorado and Michigan could allow WWE betting, a first in the legal US market. One of those regulators clearly denied the story and any suggestion of its truth. The other, meanwhile, declined to deny it.
According to the story, sources said Colorado and Michigan regulators are in discussions to allow betting on high-profile matches. The WWE would use Ernst & Young to keep match results from leaking.
Wrestlers involved in those matches would not find out who won until hours before they hit the ring to perform.
Colorado says no way to WWE betting
A spokeswoman for the Colorado Division of Gaming said it has never considered allowing markets on WWE betting:
“The Colorado Division of Gaming is not currently and has not considered allowing sports betting wagers on WWE matches. At no time has any state gaming regulator in Colorado spoken with the WWE about including wagers on our approved wager list.
“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.
“All wager requests submitted to the Division for consideration are published in our approved sports betting wager catalog available on our Sports Betting Catalog | DOR SBG (colorado.gov). All rejected requests are listed on the Rejected Wager tab in the catalog.”
Michigan less clear on wrestling
The Michigan Gaming Control Board took another path, sending a vague response Wednesday night about their betting catalog:
“The Michigan Gaming Control Board publishes a Sports Wagering Catalog. When updates to the catalog are approved, the information is shared publicly through the agency’s website and with sportsbook operators.”
The MGCB then issued a statement from Executive Director Henry Williams Thursday afternoon:
“Any request for inclusion in Michigan’s Sports Wagering Catalog must be submitted to the MGCB by a Michigan-licensed operator or platform provider, and the agency has not received a formal request regarding WWE events wagering. The WWE should work with the gaming industry if it wishes to bring a proposal before the MGCB.”
A third-party consultant approached the MGCB more than a year ago about a proposal to add WWE events to Michigan’s wagering catalog, but the agency has received no further information.
Michigan allows betting on pre-determined events, including the Academy Awards. There are 25 markets listed for the Academy Awards in Michigan’s betting catalog.
Indiana registration not necessarily linked
Indiana is one of the states where just about anyone that makes money from sports betting needs to hold a license. CNBC reported the WWE’s license in Indiana is related to this betting push.
That is not necessarily the case, though. The Indiana Gaming Commission confirmed to LSR the WWE received its license in May 2021, which was just a few weeks after the company and DraftKings announced their collaboration for free-to-play games.
The deal granted DraftKings “an exclusive license to media assets and in-game branding for WWE pay-per-view events.”
BetMGM: that’s a no from us
BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt was asked at the iGaming NEXT conference in New York about betting on WWE matches on his platform. He answered with a simple three letters, “NFW,” which typically stands for “no f****** way.”
ESPN‘s David Purdum, meanwhile, said an offshore bookmaker once told him they knew who would win certain wrestling matches based on which accounts were betting.
WWE betting options right now
Since the events are scripted with people knowing the outcome of the matches, there are no legal US sportsbooks that accept bets on professional wrestling.
Bettors could go offshore to bet on those results, without the protections of a licensed and regulated market. The markets are offered at some regulated overseas sportsbooks with extremely low betting limits.
That means the only legal option to win any money on wrestling in the US is the free-to-play pools on DraftKings that offer a prize pool of $25,000.