Betting On WWE Matches? Not In Colorado, Division Of Gaming Says

Written By Adam Hensley on 03/09/2023
Colorado denies rumors about WWE betting

There’s a chance that sports bettors could eventually wager on scripted matches at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) shows. Judging by comments made this week, though, that won’t happen in Colorado.

A CNBC report surfaced Wednesday saying the Colorado sports betting menu could, at some point, include the WWE. But soon after, the Colorado Division of Gaming released a statement.

The Colorado Division of Gaming called CNBC’s report an “inaccurate representation.” The statement reads:

“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 wager on our approved wager list.”

Could WWE betting be similar to betting on the Oscars?

The Colorado Division of Gaming’s release is clear: Betting on WWE goes against current laws.

“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.”

It’s not legal in most states (including Colorado), but some sportsbooks do offer Oscar betting. FanDuel and DraftKings are household names in the industry, and they offer bets on the Academy Awards.

The difference with the Oscars, though, is that determining winners does not rely on a script. That’s where there may be some tough conversations. But the Academy Awards results are known ahead of time, much like a WWE match, which leads to optimism.

“You’ve got a group of writers in the WWE that are coming up with these possible solutions, which is obviously not the same as the Oscars,” Sherman said during a live interview with CNBC. “But in the end result, if it’s just three or four or five people that know the results, yeah, maybe there’s a pitch here. It’s at least in the realm of possibility.”

According to Aaron Oster, who works with Circa Sports, he believes betting on WWE matches will “likely happen” in some markets.

“I have had direct talks with people at sports betting companies over the past year about legalizing WWE betting,” he said in a tweet on Wednesday. “This is absolutely a thing that will likely happen, and the path is not that hard to see when you look at how NFL/NBA Draft/Oscars are legal in some states.”

How will the WWE make sure its match results are kept secret?

Keeping scripted match results a secret stands as one of WWE’s biggest points of emphasis in conversations with regulators, according to Sherman’s reporting. In turn, CNBC reported that WWE is working with Ernst and Young, a global accounting firm. The end goal? Make sure its scripted match results aren’t leaked to the public.

This wouldn’t be EY’s first rodeo. The first boasts a track record of working with award shows like the Oscars and Emmys to keep results under lock and key.

Under this proposed secrecy, even the wrestlers themselves don’t know the outcome of their own matches until hours before they jump into the ring. CNBC’s report details that in order to make this a possibility, the higher-ups at WWE would lock scripts in months ahead of time.

Should betting on WWE matches become legal, what else is next?

If — and that’s a big if — states give the green light for gambling on WWE’s scripted matches, there’s no telling what could come next. An excerpt from Sherman’s CNBC report shared just that:

“It could open the door for legalized betting on other guarded, secret scripted events, such as future character deaths in TV series.”

Photo by AP Photo / Charles Krupa
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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa, who currently works for the USA Today Network. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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