PGA Tour To Back Legalized Sports Betting If SCOTUS Overturns Ban
The PGA Tour would "welcome regulated and legalized sports betting on its competitions" if the U.S. Supreme Court "overturns the federal ban that prohibits such bets in most states," according to Steve DiMeglio of USA TODAY. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan in his first public comments on the issue said, "If it's legalized and regulated, you get to a point where you can better ensure the integrity of your competitions. You can provide adequate protection for consumers, which doesn't exist today. There are commercial opportunities for us." He added, "We believe we'd reach a much broader audience." DiMeglio notes the Supreme Court is "expected to issue its decision before its July recess." Monahan said that the Tour has "invested considerable time and money studying sports betting for several years," which includes "meeting with regulators, integrity experts, betting operators and others in the gambling industry." Monahan added that the Tour has collaborated with the NBA and MLB to "align lobbying efforts on the state and federal levels for legislation it supports." The Tour seeks an "'integrity fee,' likely 1% of the handle from betting operators." The Tour also "wants input or control over the types of wagers offered to mitigate corruption" and gambling operators to "use only official data it produces." Monahan said that the Tour recently "launched integrity programs in coordination with sports data company Genius Sports, which monitors all of the Tour's events in real time for suspicious betting activity" (USA TODAY, 4/12).
PROTECTING THE INTEGRITY: PGA Tour Senior VP/Tournament Administration & Anti-Doping Andy Levinson said of protecting the customer and the integrity of the game, "It's important that the types of bets and the types of markets that are created around our competitions are ones that don't increase the risk of corruption. By having some say in the types of bets that are offered we feel we can mitigate the risk that can be posed." Levinson said that the Tour would "want to avoid bets that focus on a negative outcome, such as a player missing the fairway or a green or making a specific score." GOLFCHANNEL.com's Rex Hoggard noted the Tour would also "want whatever form of betting that states would allow to include the use of official, Tour-generated statistics to ensure accuracy and promote fan engagement through the various new platforms legalized sports betting would create" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 4/11).