This story has been updated following the release of statements from the Michigan Gaming Control Board and Colorado Division of Gaming.
A CNBC report on Wednesday had the sports betting world buzzing, as it claimed the WWE had been in discussions with gambling regulators in Michigan and Colorado to legalize betting on its matches.
But on Thursday, both the Michigan Gaming Control Board and Colorado Division of Gaming released statements denying they have had discussions with the WWE.
When asked about the report by PlayMichigan on Wednesday MGCB Communications Specialist Mary Kay Bean responded: “The Michigan Gaming Control Board publishes a Sports Wagering Catalog. When updates to the catalog are approved, the information is shared publicly through the agency’s website and with sportsbook operators.”
The WWE is not currently listed as pending or submitted in the catalog, meaning it hasn’t been requested by any operators. Even if discussions had occurred, it would not mean an agreement is near or being considered.
MGCB says it has had no direct talks with WWE
The MGCB released a statement Thursday afternoon saying it has not held direct communications with the WWE about allowing betting on its matches.
“Any request for inclusion in Michigan’s Sports Wagering Catalog must be submitted to the MGCB by a Michigan-licensed operator or platform provider, and the agency has not received a formal request regarding WWE events wagering,” said Henry Williams, MGCB executive director. “The WWE should work with the gaming industry if it wishes to bring a proposal before the MGCB.”
The statement did say a third party consultant reached out to the MGCB more than a year ago about adding WWE events to the wagering catalog, but the MGCB received no further information.
Will you be able to bet on WWE matches in Michigan?
The report from CNBC states the WWE is working with EY — also known as Ernst & Young — to keep match results from leaking to the public. They would also keep results from wrestlers until shortly before matches.
EY works with the Academy Awards and Emmys to keep results secret, and betting on the Oscars is available at Michigan sportsbooks. That, according to the report, is WWE’s selling point to operators and regulators.
Of course, the Oscars are voted on by thousands of Academy members who do not know the results. WWE matches are decided by a small creative team, and sometimes impacted by storylines that are months in the making.
What can you bet on in Michigan?
The Oscars are a bit of an outlier when it comes to what you can and cannot bet on in Michigan.
In most cases, operators can only offer a wager type where the results are determined on the field of play, and can be verified by a box score or statistical analysis.
You can’t, for instance, bet on the color of Gatorade or length of the national anthem in the Super Bowl.