On the surface, professional wrestling and online betting aren’t compatible. After all, the matches are staged, so people already know the winners. However, delve deeper and you’ll see pro wrestling and online gambling like real money casino is a match made in heaven. At least, that’s what the figures suggest. Both are lucrative industries valued in the billions – WWE signed TV deals worth $2bn while sports betting was worth $85.047bn in 2019 – and betting companies around the world are taking advantage. From the Royal Rumble to WrestleMania, the number of markets available is only expanding with every passing year. So, what makes these two seemingly conflicted sectors compatible?
There are passionate sports fans, and there are wrestling audiences. The latter is notorious for their committed support of the industry, highlighted by attendance statistics. In 2016, WrestleMania, WWE’s flagship event, recorded a record-breaking attendance of 101,763. Over the years, WM averages attendances of over 70,000, as well as merchandise profits in the millions. Not only does this create sponsorship opportunities for betting businesses, but it allows them to push non-related products once people land. Scratch cards online from Betfair use various genres to encourage users to play. It’s possible to indulge in a bingo classic with Ladies Night, for example, a cookery show-style game with Soufflé Surprise. Sports already get representation here, with football-themed Winning Match. As wrestling is becoming one of the more popular branding tactics due to the passion and commitment of wrestling audiences, there’s a space for it in scratch card gameplay.
Wrestling’s move into the mobile world hasn’t gone unnoticed. Currently, WWE has hundreds of available services on the App Store and Google Play, and it’s only one brand. Mobile technology, such as 5G, brings the two industries closer than ever for two reasons. Firstly, wrestling and online betting businesses are leveraging in-app purchases to boost their brands. Secondly, mobile devices are ideal vehicles for fans and supporters who want to place wagers on the action. As the tech becomes more powerful and reliable, the user experience will improve when transitioning from one platform to another. As the relationship gets closer, the opportunities for both industries will only be greater.
The outcome might be predetermined, but the wrestling industry is legitimate. Right now, the WWE has a TV deal with ESPN, one of the biggest broadcasters in the United Sports. This is one reason the company is said to be worth $3 billion in 2020, along with the merchandizing pull it offers to its sponsors and partners. Therefore, the market is a prime business opportunity for wrestling and betting businesses to take advantage of the market. After all, Macrotrends shows how consistent the brand has been since the start of the new millennium – WWE has been valued at $1 billion and over since 2006 and has only increased its market share. As well as giving wagering organizations the chance to offer diverse offerings on multiple outcomes, the businesses understand that the odds of making money are high.
Pro wrestling businesses and online betting establishments share many similarities that make them a match made in heaven. By leveraging committed audiences and mobile tech, the trend is set to go one way – upward.