The state of Colorado is denying a report that is has started to consider regulated gambling on professional wrestling matches that are scripted and with the results known ahead of time to certain insiders.
“In response to the inaccurate representation in a recent news story published by CNBC, the Colorado Division of Gaming is issuing the following official response: 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 wagers on our approved wager list.”
“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,” the regulator added.
Colorado is one of the leading sports betting states. The state’s handle for January 2023 was $547,189,024.98, a 5.62% increase from the total handle of the prior month, December 2022, of $518,088,768.08. Colorado is one of 33 states in the country with legal sports gambling.
CNBC reported this week that “WWE is in talks with state gambling regulators in Colorado and Michigan to legalize betting on high-profile matches, according to people familiar with the matter.” It has not retracted the story.
“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,” the report stated.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board hasn’t responded to the report.
The WWE reportedly is on the market, though it’s unclear if it will be sold. The WWE is more attractive as an asset if there’s legal gambling on its scripted matches.
The CNBC report used unnamed sources.