The WWE is negotiating with state gambling regulators in Colorado and Michigan in an effort to legalize betting on “high-profile matches.”
According to CNBC, WWE is collaborating with Ernst & Young, the accounting firm tasked with ensuring the secrecy of winners from award shows, such as the Academy Awards and the Emmys, to convince regulators that the results of matches will not be revealed to the public.
WWE executives suggested that the winners of these high-profile scripted matches would be finalized months in advance, and the wrestlers involved would be informed of the results shortly before heading out to the ring. One proposal consisted of locking in the result of the main event of WrestleMania well ahead of time, allowing for people to place bets once the opponent is decided at the Royal Rumble in January.
Back in January, WWE founder Vince McMahon was reinstated to the company’s board of directors, and returned as an executive chairman after stepping down amid sexual misconduct allegations. The news of McMahon’s return centered around rumors that he was looking to sell the company ahead of renegotiations for the WWE’s media rights, which include its flagship Raw and Smackdown programs.
McMahon explained in a statement at the time that the WWE enlisted the help of several firms to explore “strategic alternatives” to “fully capitalize on the significant value of our intellectual property.” Legal betting appears to be one of those ventures.
Even though a sale isn’t certain, the WWE is expected to meet with potential buyers next month.