Not From The Onion, I Swear: the WWE Is Trying to Legalize Betting on Pro Wrestling

Alex Sherman, reporting for CNBC:

WWE is in talks with state gambling regulators to legalize betting on high-profile matches, according to people familiar with the matter.

WWE is working with the accounting firm EY to secure scripted match results in hopes it will convince regulators there’s no chance of results leaking to the public, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Accounting firms PwC and EY, also known as Ernst & Young, have historically worked with award shows, including the Academy Awards and the Emmys, to keep results a secret.

Betting on the Academy Awards is already legal and available through some sports betting applications, including market leaders FanDuel and DraftKings, although most states don’t allow it. WWE executives have cited Oscars betting as a template to convince regulators gambling on scripted matches is safe, the people said.

The idea that any state might legalize betting on pro wrestling reminds me of this great bit from Vegas Vacation. Clark Griswold, down on his luck and down to his last few dollars, starts playing sketchy games in a sketchy casino — “Coin Toss”, “Rock Paper Scissors”, etc. He loses the last of his money at “Pick a Number” — you guess a number between 1 and 10, then the “dealer” tells you whether it’s the same number they were thinking of. I don’t see how betting on pro wrestling would be any different.

(Via Matt Levine, who quipped, “Oh man, I am so excited to write about this insider trading case in like a year.”)

Saturday, 11 March 2023