Can sports betting make its way into events where the winner is predetermined?
WWE has held talks with state regulators on the prospect of legalizing betting on high-profile scripted wrestling matches, according to CNBC.
WWE is proposing a plan in which wrestlers would not be told who will win the match until a few hours before it happens. The company is initially targeting Michigan, Colorado, and Indiana as initial states to pursue legalization.
Michigan’s Gaming Control Board released a statement on Thursday saying that it has not had direct communication with the WWE. It noted that a third-party consultant approached the agency on that prospect more than a year ago, but no formal steps have been taken.
WWE is working with accounting firm EY on methods to seal planned results in an effort to win over state authorities.
The company could cite the precedent of legal betting markets for the Academy Awards and Emmys, in which the results are known ahead of time to a small group of people.
Meanwhile, WWE is fielding bids from potential buyers and will meet with interested parties next month.
Vince McMahon, who reinstated himself as WWE executive chairman after resigning amid sexual misconduct allegations, is reportedly seeking $9 billion for the wrestling media empire. Front Office Sports previously reported that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is a lead contender to buy WWE.
UFC owner Endeavor, NBCUniversal, and Fox are also mulling bids.