WWE Wants to Make Betting on Scripted Matches Legal
The wrestling mega-brand is hoping to take bets on bodyslams in the near future.
From the "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" files comes this news dispatch from CNBC:
"WWE in talks with state gambling regulators to legalize betting on scripted match results."
For those who don't get the headscratcher-ness of that headline, I'll explain. While the athleticism of professional wrestlers is real, the outcomes are not. Pro wrestling is a big, sweaty, spandex-clad soap opera. Who wins and who loses is not determined by athletic competition, it is determined by a writer hunched over a laptop.
Related: WWE's Vince McMahon Stepped Down as CEO
Now, I hesitate to say wrestling is "fake," because WWE stars are undoubtedly incredible athletes who perform very real acrobatics and often suffer very real injuries. But, yeah, basically it is fake.
So how could betting on an event that is predetermined be a thing?
Per CNBC's Alex Sherman, WWE is working with the Ernst & Young accounting firm to try to convince Colorado and Michigan regulators that "there's no chance of results leaking to the public." Ernst & Young has a history of keeping secrets, namely the voting results of the Academy Awards and the Emmys.
Betting on the Academy Awards is legal on apps like FanDuel and DraftKings, but while those awards revolve around scripted works, the winner is not scripted. In other words, we're not betting if Maverick is going to successfully pull off the mission (no spoilers!), we're betting if Tom Cruise will heft a trophy and tearfully thank Xenu in his acceptance speech.
Those close to the WWE betting matter did not respond to requests for comment, so it remains a mystery how close or far this betting thing is from really happening.
But if it does happen, you can just imagine the doors it opens for other scripted TV show betting. Will Dora the Explorer find the treasure chest on Treasure Island? What's the over-under on her contracting Monkey Pox from Boots?
Related: WWE Considering Move Into BoxingAll of this comes on the heels of Vince McMahon's return to the WWE. In 2022, McMahon announced his retirement amid accusations of sexual misconduct. But in early January of this year, McMahon returned to the company's board of directors as executive chairman. His name wasn't directly mentioned in the initial reporting, but anyone wanna bet he had something to do with this gambling initiative?