World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.
is in discussions with Colorado and Michigan state regulators to legalize betting on the company’s events, according to a CNBC report Wednesday. The WWE is working with accounting firm Ernst & Young on trying to find a way to organize legal wagering on the company’s scripted wrestling events without the match results being leaked to the public, CNBC reported.
Ernst & Young also works with awards shows, including the Academy Awards, to make sure results don’t get leaked to the public prior to their announcement. Betting on awards shows is legal, and currently happens on many sports-betting platforms, including FanDuel and DraftKings
Representatives for WWE and Ernst & Young did not respond to MarketWatch’s request for comment on this story. Gaming regulators for Michigan and Colorado also did not immediately respond to MarketWatch’s request for comment. The introduction of legal gambling sponsorships and endorsements into professional sports has been a swift change in the past few years, but WWE partnering with sports-betting operators has a different set of hurdles due to its scripted nature. In 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court ended the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, it gave states individual legislative power to legalize sports betting. Some form of live sports wagering is legal in 33 states, plus Washington D.C., according to the American Gaming Association. The news comes amid reports that WWE may be up for sale. Controlling shareholder Vince McMahon reportedly wants as much as $9 billion for the company.