MGCB Director Debunks CNBC Report on Potential WWE Wagering Discussions

Jessica Aletor
By:
Jessica Aletor
14/03/2023/
News
Fighting Ring

Highlights

  • Michigan news media went all agog as CNBC broke the news that the state’s gambling authority had meetings with WWE directors.
  • According to reports, the MGCB and Colorado’s gaming regulator were considering a potential inclusion of WWE wagering in sports betting markets.
  • Te MGCB has, in a recent report, denied having direct reports with the WWE or any other agency about wagering on wrestling matches.

On March 8, 2023, CNBC released a report suggesting that the WWE was in talks with regulators from Michigan and Colorado in a bid to introduce sports betting on scripted wrestling matches. Gamble Online published this news a day after CNBC's initial publication.

In these reports, the WWE proposed the involvement of Ernst & Young, a top accounting firm, to keep the results of matches secret from the public and ensure a trustworthy wagering process. However, the Michigan Gaming Control Board acted swiftly to debunk this news report in a press release.

WWE Yet to Submit an Official Request on Wagering to the MGCB

In a press statement dated March 9, the Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board debunked news that the Board was involved in any direct discussions with the WWE. According to the release, the only communication occurred in 2022 and there has been no official or formal follow-up since then.

In the report, the discussions were said to have involved a third-party consultant with a proposal to include the WWE in a sports betting category. The following statements were quoted as the exact words of Henry Williams, the Executive Director on the prevailing issues:

“Any request for inclusion in Michigan’s Sports Wagering Catalog must be submitted to the MGCB by a Michigan-licensed operator or platform provider, and the agency has not received a formal request regarding WWE events wagering. The WWE should work with the gaming industry if it wishes to bring a proposal before the MGCB.”

The Board is only obliged to receive requests for inclusion of sports betting events by licensed Michigan sportsbooks operators. Since the WWE is yet to be included in the Sports Wagering Catalog as a pending event, there is every reason to believe the authorities have not considered the prospects.

Should the MGCB include a new sports betting event, the updated Catalog will be published on the board's website and available at sportsbooks.

Colorado Division on Gaming Denies Having Direct Talks With WWE

In the same vein, the Colorado Division on Gaming has issued a public statement in response to the news about its communication with the WWE. Unlike the MGCB that acknowledged possible third-party discussions, the Colorado Division on Gaming denied ever having considered WWE wagering.

The first paragraph of the press release reads thus:

“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.”

Moving forward, the statement emphasizes that betting on events or sports that have a fixed outcome is prohibited by statute in Colorado. Lastly, the statement noted that potential wager submissions issued to the Division may be rejected or approved. In the case of the latter, they are published in the Division’s catalog while rejected wagers can be found in the rejection tab of the catalog.

These press statements from the Michigan and Colorado gaming authorities already imply that the WWE did not engage in direct talks with any of the state regulators. Consequently, there is very little truth to the CNBC report. Considering that the rumors of a potential sale of the WWE is rife, this negative news may do more to harm its valuation than its owners may have imagined.

Michigan Wolverines Fail to Make the Cut for March Madness

In other news, Michigan will be solely represented by the Michigan State University Spartans at NCAA Men’s Division I Tournament. This is coming after the Wolverines put up an abysmal performance at the Big Ten Tournament. The University of Michigan Wolverines crashed out of the tournament in their first game against Rutgers.

Michigan State would also make an early exit after losing to Ohio State in the quarterfinals. While this result would not affect the chances of Michigan State from representing at the main event of the March Madness, the University of Michigan would instead head to the National Invitation Tournament.

On Friday, March 17, Michigan State Spartans will kick off their NCAA campaign against USC Trojans. You can bet on the Spartans on licensed Michigan sports betting apps.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, casino.zone and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments