Developments to resonate with fans
The PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has been speaking about what upcoming gambling developments will be coming to the Tour. With events every week with up to 125 players, there is a lot of scope in golf for prop betting, as well as incorporating gambling elements in the lengthy broadcasts.
Monahan said: “We’ve spent a lot of time over the last two and a half years clearly understanding all of our options and getting ourselves in a position where we can participate. Participate with the right partners, and participate in a way that we think resonates with fans. Without getting in front of it, I think you can expect to hear developments from us in the second half of this year.”
There will be an emphasis on creating new content revolving around gambling. Numerous television networks already have sports betting-focused shows airing on their sports channels. The tour is still at the stage of putting systems in place so that the different aspects can be well integrated into one another.
The Tour has been improving its ShotLink data system to become even more accurate and timely. Monahan went on to talk about the many different avenues that are now open to the Tour, including with the likes of fantasy betting, broadcasting shows and traditional sports betting.
PGA Tour and sports betting
Since the Supreme Court voted in favor of ending the federal ban on sports betting in May 2018, eight states have legalized it. More are expected to follow in the coming years.
Most of the major sports leagues that were originally against sports betting are now embracing it. They are signing up with official gambling partners and looking at different ways in which they can get their own slice of the action.
Initially, the PGA Tour was seeking the introduction of integrity fees in states that were legalizing sports betting. The MBL and NBA were doing likewise. Integrity fees involve a slice of every sports bet going to the respective governing body of that given event. However, this approach has not been very popular with lawmakers.
This is because the margins for sportsbooks are already small. An integrity fee would likely cripple these operators too much. The PGA Tour is partnering with Genius Sports, to help ensure there is no compromising of the integrity of its sport. The partnership will help the Tour to monitor betting patterns to ensure that no suspicious trends arise.
The Tour is also actively educating its player and staff base on how they could potentially fall foul of rules by placing sports bets. The PGA Tour is also now working with IMG Arena, which is the official data distributor for its betting data. This company is based in London and is a subsidiary of the IMG management company. Currently, IMG Arena has partnerships with more than 250 sportsbooks globally.
It will gather the real-time ShotLink data for Tour events and use it to distribute to sportsbooks. With real-time data being so important for live sports betting, this will be a great deal for the PGA Tour and the sportsbooks alike. Gambling sponsors are also now allowable for events.
One of the novelty ways in which golf has been embracing gambling was the $10m showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The head-to-head match between the two players featured many side bets.