Michigan, Colorado Betting Regulators Discuss Prospects of WWE Sports Wagering

Jessica Aletor
Jessica Aletor


  • WWE wrestling matches, despite being scripted, could now be wagered on at Michigan sports betting sites, if discussions between regulators end positively.
  • WWE authorities met with Michigan and Colorado regulators aiming to convince them that its matches could be bet on like award shows.
  • These discussions come against a backdrop of the potential sale of the WWE franchise after allegations of sexual misconduct against its former CEO.

The WWE is famous for its scripted wrestling matches, and despite being categorized as sports by some, there has never been a formal betting system for its events. However, newly emerging reports from CNBC shows that talks are ongoing to introduce WWE wrestling as a wagering event in Michigan and Colorado.

If discussions are successful, Michigan bettors will be able to wager on high profile matches. According to trustworthy reports, the WWE is engaging Ernst & Young (EY) to ensure that scripted match results are not available to the public. We have all the details from credible sources outlined below.

Why is the WWE Engaging Michigan and Colorado Markets?

Although Colorado and Michigan have had good runs in their online casino and sports betting industries, they are nowhere near the top states for revenues in the country. Several eyebrows have been raised since word got out that the WWE were looking to launch wrestling wagering in these states. But the most common question has revolved around why the WWE is looking to test run with Michigan and Colorado.

While there are no answers from official sources, Colorado and Michigan sports betting industries are the fastest growing in the country. Moreover, they are still considerably compact, allowing for easier penetration, especially for a testing phase. Michigan and Colorado are also two of few states in the country open to betting on relatively obscure sports.

Both state regulators have responded to journalists about claims that WWE wagering would be coming to their respective locations. Colorado Division of Gaming noted in the CNBC report that it is not open to the consideration of WWE betting.

On the other hand, representatives of the Michigan Gaming Control Board noted that the Board has to publish a catalog of acceptable sporting events before they can be bet on. However, the MGCB did not give any representations that WWE will be permitted by regulators.

Besides, several non-sporting events such the Academy Awards and niche sports like lacrosse and college hockey are included in the Michigan catalog. Yet, bettors in the state are yet to access these markets on sports betting apps. So, WWE betting appears to be a far cry even if it makes it to the catalog.

Are Award Shows a Good Argument for the WWE’s Potential Move?

One of the major justifications the WWE is making in support of betting on wrestling matches is that Colorado and Michigan permit wagering on award shows. The report stated the following:

“In discussions about how gambling on wrestling could work, WWE executives have proposed that scripted results of matches be locked in months ahead of time, according to people familiar with the matter. The wrestlers themselves wouldn’t know whether they were winning or losing until shortly before a match takes place, said the people.”

The WWE argued that top four accounting firms, like EY and PwC could be in charge of securing and tabulating results for scripted wrestling matches like it does for awards shows. New Jersey was the first state to introduce betting on the results of the Academy Awards in 2019. Since then, many sports betting states, including Michigan and Colorado replicated this feat.

Unfortunately, the situations of the Academy Awards and the Emmys, for example, are not comparable to scripted wrestling. The former is voted on by numerous Academy members and past winners. The results are determined shortly before the award show. However, the wrestling storyline is built over the course of weeks or months, thereby making it more susceptible to manipulation.

WWE Pushing for Wagering Entry Amidst News of Sale

Several commentators believe that the reports of potential WWE wrestling wagering is not unconnected to the news of its sale. Vince McMahon, the former Chairman of the WWE stepped down from his CEO position after allegations of sexual impropriety. In a surprising turn of events, he returned in January 2023 in a bid to sell off the company at a $9 billion valuation.

It is now believed that the executive chairman is pushing for possible betting opportunities to increase the prospects of a good sale. Many claims suggest that Fox, Amazon, Disney, the UFC’s Endeavor Group Holdings and Formula 1’s Liberty Media are interested. Only half of these suitors have prior links with sports betting activities. So, wagering on wrestling events could either dispel potential buyers or be a major selling point.

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