Colorado’s gaming regulator has denied a report that it was “in talks” with professional wrestling giant WWE to permit wagering on the company’s events.
CNBC reported on Wednesday (March 8) that the wrestling company had discussed opening its events up to regulated wagering with the Colorado Division of Gaming and the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
According to the report, WWE would verify its scripted results in advance with accounting firm EY to permit wagering in a similar fashion to how results are verified for the Academy Awards, on which betting is allowed in several jurisdictions.
WWE currently has a partnership with DraftKings that includes free-to-play pools on its events.
However, a spokeswoman for the Colorado regulator issued a stone-cold denial that it had any interest in WWE betting.
“The Colorado Division of Gaming is not currently and has not considered allowing sports betting wagers on WWE matches,” spokeswoman Suzanne Karrer told VIXIO GamblingCompliance.
“At no time has any state gaming regulator in Colorado spoken with the WWE about including wagers on our approved wager list.”
Karrer added that betting on novelty events, such as the Academy Awards, is prohibited by state law rather than regulations, and that rejected requests from operators on potential wagering events are published on the state website.
BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt responded with a laugh when asked during an appearance at the iGaming Next conference in New York if BetMGM would accept wagers on WWE if permitted.
“NFW,” he said simply.
Some European operators, including Betfair, offer wagering on WWE events and other non-sporting events such as game shows or talent competitions as a lower-limit novelty wager.
“Betting around [game shows and talent competitions] created a lot of buzz because the shows had record audiences, so lots of interest in the underlying, which is in parallel with sports,” Greenblatt said.
“You love the sport, you want to have a bet on this board, it dials up your emotional connection, and the same thing with the game shows.”
“What was also helpful around the game shows was the role of social media and the commentary around it,” he continued. “And so is it interesting? Is it exciting? Yes, [but] at the moment, it's just not part of the catalog in most states.”