Even More on WWE Calling Wrestlers, Entertainers

Bill Behrens


I’ve seen various reports including on this site of WWE deciding to call their wrestlers, entertainers in the hope of avoiding state regulation and taxing.

At least one report noted that States like Georgia who are about to vote greater wrestling regulations likely on November 19, 2007, as we’ve reported earlier are the reason for this change. Currently, however WWE is exempt from Georgia Wrestling Regulation under the law so Georgia is not a great example, and in Georgia the commission that Regulates is the Georgia Entertainment & Athletic Commission, so being defined as Entertainment in Georgia would not help much.

Whether it will help in other states will depend on how current law is written. Much of the current law lumps wrestling in with Boxing and now MMA regulation, real sports. Many of the “commissions” are still “boxing commissions”.

Likely WWE hopes that this change will encourage States to pass new law that would exempt wrestling, but that will be an uphill fight as in doing so many states will give up taxes on gates (usually 5%), and it is unlikely states will do this without a fight.

WWE will argue that by bringing PPVs, RAW, ECW & Smackdown tapings into States it ends up spending millions each year in numerous states, making WWE an attractive business to have visit your state. Those states with less or no regulation and no gate taxes logically will benefit more than regulated states as WWE will be more inclined to frequently visit “friendlier” states, and those states will benefit more financially as a result.

We will see if new laws are proposed to change current State laws as a result of this change. Only time will tell.

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