Big Four company World Wrestling Entertainment has enlisted the services of EY in an effort to get information of its financial outcomes. The firm expects that by ensuring the predetermined conclusion of its events, it would be able to convince American officials to permit wagering on its fights.
WWE, often known as World Wrestling Entertainment, is a worldwide integrated media and entertainment organization. While it has expanded into other goods in recent years, like as films, video games, and even American football, its mainstay remains the staging of professional wrestling matches.
WWE matches are not ‘real’ competitions, but rather entertainment-based performance theatre comprising storyline-driven, scripted, and partially choreographed events. This means that state authorities in the United States now prohibit wagering on WWE events, preventing the sports entertainment brand from tapping into a thriving industry.
In recent years, betting prohibitions have been liberalized throughout the United States, creating a significant revenue opportunity for sports firms that cooperate with bookmakers. According to the American Gaming Association, in the first 10 months of 2022, $73 billion was legally gambled on sports, a 70% increase year over year. 50 million People wagered $16 billion on the Super Bowl in 2023, compared to $7.6 billion at the previous year’s event, illustrative of the opportunities this provides for sports businesses.
The annual WrestleMania event, the WWE’s version of the Super Bowl, is almost approaching. In 2023, there will be no such abundance of legal wagering on the event. In the coming months, though, that might all change, as WWE has engaged EY to ensure its outcomes.
In the future, EY might provide the same service to the Academy Awards that PwC has always provided – protecting the results months in advance to keep the outcome of the most prestigious event a secret. For instance, WWE might determine months in advance the winner of Wrestlemania’s main event based on a planned scenario that depended on the victor of January’s Royal Rumble. Then, wagering on the match may take place between the conclusion of the Royal Rumble and up to days or even hours before Wrestlemania, when the wrestlers and those involved in the production of the program would hear the outcome.
According to sources cited by CNBC, WWE officials are using Oscar’s wagering as a model to persuade gambling authorities that wagering on scripted fights is safe. While the majority of states do not yet permit betting on the Academy Awards, it is now legal and available through various sports betting programs, including industry giants FanDuel and DraftKings, indicating that this may change in the future.
If this occurs, WWE will be best positioned to promote betting in its own niche of the market. According to further sources, doing so might improve WWE’s appeal to a new audience while drastically changing creative storylines.
In the meanwhile, betting on WWE outcomes is already permitted in various international marketplaces. In the United Kingdom, Unibet and Paddy Power have given odds on key WWE events such as the Royal Rumble and Summerslam for years, while Betfred and Betfair offer the opportunity to wager on the scripted outcomes of soap operas such as EastEnders.