The WWE is betting big by getting into the lottery business.
The wrestling powerhouse plans to roll out branded lottery games nationwide, thanks to a new multi-year deal with gaming company International Game Technology (IGT). The agreement gives IGT exclusive licensing rights to develop and distribute WWE scratch-off tickets and other lottery products.
This is the latest move for WWE (NYSE: WWE) in the gaming space after inking a partnership with DraftKings (Nasdaq: DKNG) last spring. IGT (NYSE: IGT) will also use licensing rights to create various promotional programs that highlight WWE talent and events, like WrestleMania in Arlington, Texas, this year.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but WWE, which already has partnerships with gaming companies such as Scopely and Take-Two Interactive, hopes the IGT deal will bolster its overall omnichannel strategy. Data show that WWE followers over-index into gaming, so this is a way for the Connecticut-based company to meet fans as close as their local convenience store.
Lottery channels will include physical tickets like scratch-offs, as well as mobile and interactive games. Scratch-offs and other lottery games are expected to launch in select markets later this year. London-based IGT, which recently partnered with Sports Illustrated owner Authentic Brands Group to develop Marilyn Monroe-themed games, will leverage WWE assets to reach new and existing demographics.
WWE also is potentially opening the path into the casino business with this IGT deal, as some markets are expected to offer iGaming (online casinos) components. It wouldn’t be the first time, as WWE (then known as the World Wrestling Federation) previously had plans of opening a hotel and casino in Las Vegas, but it never got through the proposal stage and the company sold the property in 2000.
WWE, which reported $255 million in revenue in the third quarter, nonetheless continues to look for new ways to expand and attract a younger fan base. The wrestling giant most recently launched an NIL program to create a new talent pipeline. In October, WWE signed an exclusive trading-card deal with The Panini Group and a toy-licensing deal with manufacturing company Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT).
WWE president and chief revenue officer Nick Khan has been involved in several major changes since he left Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in 2020. This latest deal with IGT speaks to the organization’s continued mission to spread the brand across multiple areas of gaming.
(This article has been updated in the last paragraph to clarify Nick Khan’s role at WWE.)