Legal Betting on WWE Matches? NFW, say gambling operators

Becky Lynch celebrates her loss to Bianca Belair at SummerSlam 2021.

World wrestling entertainment

It’s clear that World Wrestling Entertainment would like to make headlines about the possibility of bettors being allowed to legally bet on scripted matches, and all of this has nothing to do with trying to raise the potential sale price of the society.

Betting increases fan engagement. Just ask the NFL, MLB, NCAA – even the people who organize ping pong. They all find a big advantage when fans can bet on matches.

Massachusetts just launched mobile betting on Friday, but no one there can legally bet on “Friday Night SmackDown” matches. “WWE is not a licensed sports league,” the Massachusetts Gaming Commission points out.

Colorado regulators aren’t happy the prospect is even being floated. “The Colorado Gaming Division is not currently and has not considered allowing sports betting on WWE matches,” they said. “At no time has any Colorado state gaming regulator spoken with WWE about the inclusion of bets on our approved betting list.”

Colorado law prohibits “betting on events with fixed or predicted outcomes or purely by chance,” and that includes the Oscars. Seven other states allow betting on the Oscars in one form or another. Indiana and New Jersey do not allow live betting and limit bet sizes.

Like most states, Michigan only accepts applications from gambling operators or platforms, and WWE hasn’t even applied, according to the state gaming control board. He released a public statement advising WWE to work with the gaming industry.

This can be an even bigger hurdle than getting past game regulators.

“NFW!” replied Adam Greenblatt, CEO of BetMGM, if he would be keen to accept bets on WWE scripted matches. BetMGM is the US market leader in iGaming, or casino games played online. He was speaking at iGamingNext, an industry conference, earlier this week. (NFW stands for “no f—-ing way”. Talk about a smackdown!)

FanDuel’s response wasn’t as colorful or as public, but a spokesperson said it was highly unlikely the country’s sports betting market leader would ever accept a bet.

DraftKings objected, saying it would be up to regulators.

FanDuel, owned by Flutter Entertainment, says allowing betting on the Oscars once a year is completely different from contemplating the enormity of WWE’s weekly, at least twice-a-week, scripted programming.

The legal gambling industry emphasizes avoiding scandal. The American Gaming Association, which represents both commercial and tribal operators, told CNBC: “Regulators and operators must have confidence in the integrity of competitions.”

Gambling insiders are skeptical that the sheer amount of hassle and risk of betting on scripted events is worth what is likely to be quite modest in terms of betting activity.

“At the end of the day, most industry players seem to view betting on WWE as even more optically difficult than betting on prize rebates,” said Lloyd Danzig, managing director of Sharp Alpha Advisors. .

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