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PGA Tour to Allow On-Site Betting Starting in 2020

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in Golf

Oct 27, 2019 · 11:13 AM PDT

Tigers Woods standing on tee
Come next year, you'll be able to wager on Tiger Woods and other PGA Tour golfers while you're at the course watching them play. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced Saturday that they plan to offer betting at tournaments
  • Wagering on Tour events will be available at courses during events beginning in 2020
  • The PGA Tour has entered into partnership with IMG Arena, specialists in sports and the betting industry

The PGA Tour is going all-in on sports betting.

Commissioner Jay Monahan revealed Saturday that the PGA Tour would be allowing gambling on Tour events at the golf course where the event is taking place.

He indicated that they planned to unveil live sports betting at Tour stops by net year.

Monahan made the announcement in Japan, where he was attending the $9.75 million Zozo Championship, the first official Tour stop ever held in that country.

Going With The Swing Plane

In an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP), Monahan confirmed that the PGA Tour would be the first North American sport to embrace legalized sports betting as part and parcel of their game.

The hope is that by offering wagering on the event on course, it will attract more fans, and most significantly, new fans to golf.

“It’s all about engagement,” Monahan explained. “When done right, it gives fans the opportunity to engage with your sport over a longer period of time and have more interest in what’s happening across the entire player field.”

PGA Tour Seeking New Audience

Monahan replaced Tim Finchem as commissioner in 2017 and sees betting as opening up golf to new markets and revenue streams.

“As it is becoming legalized by state in the US, you can either participate or not, and we feel smarter to be participating, versus letting others control it,” said Monahan, who’s always favored legalized sports betting.

In 2018, a US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The 1992 law barred state-authorized sports gambling except in Nevada. The overturning of the law paved the way  for sports betting to be legalized in all 50 US states.

So far, 16 states and the District of Colombia have legalized sports betting. The are PGA Tour stops in five of those 16 states.

How Will It Work?

Monahan wasn’t prepared to answer how betting at their events would function.

The PGA Tour is developing its betting product in partnership with IMG Arena. Launched in 2018, IMGA Arena provides bookmakers with live streaming and virtual sports products.

Monahan did indicate that integrity would be stressed and that only positive bets would be offered on course.

“It’s legalised in a lot of international markets and we’ve put the right systems in place, both in terms of an integrity programme and monitoring activity,” Monahan said. “We’ve done a ton of work.”

The PGA Tour will be the first major North American sports league to offer betting at events.

They won’t be the last.

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