It was back in March that World Wrestling Entertainment began pushing for the legalization of betting on its matches, and the New Hampshire Lottery Commission has just turned down the prospect. It raises an interesting point about scripted events, and whether or not betting on them should be legalized.
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A Slippery Slope for Betting on Scripted Events
The backlash against the WWE’s desire to legalize sports betting is pretty well-deserved, as it is no secret that everything is scripted. If betting on WWE events become legal, that could lead the way for betting on other scripted events – such as whether or not certain characters will die in a specific television series.
While there isn’t anything wrong with this in and of itself, it seems like keeping corruption out of the equation would be far too difficult. There are many people behind the scenes of WWE matches who know the outcome of events and, even if the results are kept under lock and key, there is still a much higher chance that the results will leak and result in insider betting.
“I have a fear of accepting wagers on any event that is perceived to have an outcome that is not based upon performance, but is based upon scripted or engineered efforts. It is very unlikely that New Hampshire would consider the WWE suitable content for sports betting.” – Charlie McIntyre, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.
Of course, some television showrunners are pretty good at keeping things under wraps. For example, shows like Seinfeld, Sex and the City and Game of Thrones all filmed multiple endings – but these are the exception to the rule and it would be very difficult to regulate which scripted events could be wagered on and which ones wouldn’t based on how tight-lipped their writers have been.
Comparison to Other Forms of Entertainment Betting
One of the most popular betting markets in entertainment is the Academy Awards. So, we’ve seen quite a few people comparing betting on who will win Best Actor to who will win Wrestlemania.
However, there really is no comparison. There are just two people who know the results of the Academy Awards before they are announced.
There are dozens of people who would be involved in the writing, choreographing and planning of Wrestlemania. So, even if everyone did sign NDAs, it would still be difficult to track down the leak if the results were revealed before the fact.
The Case in Favor of WWE Betting
Despite all of the arguments made above, WWE betting is actually legal overseas. Many UK-focused websites permit wagering on professional wrestling events, and we’ve seen that it can be done without corruption.
So, if states were to legalize it, the UK has set a good example of how it can be done.
Can You Bet On WWE in the USA?
While states where sports betting is regulated by local gambling commissions like New Hampshire and Michigan are reluctant to legalize WWE betting, there are some sites where Americans can wager on professional wrestling.
BetOnline is one such site. Currently, BetOnline is offering odds for the WWE Smackdown Championships, Backlash Winners and the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.