WWE taps EY to help open up bets on scripted matches

21 March 2023 Consulting.us 2 min. read
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World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has hired consulting firm EY to help convince state gambling regulators to legalize betting on its scripted wrestling matches, sources told CNBC.

WWE, witnessing the explosion in app-based sports betting in the last several years, wants to get in on the money-making action. The difference between WWE’s “sports entertainment” matches and the MLB, however, is that the wrestling organization’s matches are fixed (though the 1919 World Series has that aspect in common).

Betting on fixed results introduces a large amount of risk for betting companies and regulators – namely, they have to be able to trust the organization in question doesn’t perform insider betting, doesn’t leak outcomes, and doesn’t clandestinely shift match results. As such, numerous states categorically ban gambling on events with fixed outcomes.

In its bid for betting, WWE has apparently enlisted EY to add an element of trustworthiness to its operations. Big Four firms like PwC and EY are hired by awards shows including the Oscars and Emmys to help keep results a secret.

WWE taps EY to help open up bets on scripted matches

Betting on the Oscars is legal and available in several states through betting apps like FanDuel and DraftKings, though most states don’t allow it. WWE has cited the Oscars as a template for their own potential betting system, the anonymous sources said.

WWE is targeting Michigan, Colorado, and Indiana as potential states to pursue legalization. Colorado currently has a ban on fixed-outcome betting.

According to the insider sources, betting implementation would alter how WWE matches are produced, with wrestlers themselves not knowing who will win the match until shortly before the event takes place.

WWE executive chairman Vince McMahon is currently in the process of attempting to sell off his company, which he co-founded with wife Linda in 1980. The publicly traded company is set to meet with potential buyers in April in preparation for the first round of bids, sources said.