Despite previously opposing the legalization of sports betting, the PGA Tour is now a fervent supporter.
Sports betting legalization background
Prior to the US Supreme Court decision, May 2018, to allow individual states to legalize sports betting, the likes of the NBA, NFL, NCAA, NHL, and PGA Tour were vehemently opposed to the idea.
They believed that it would severely impact the integrity of their sports, and they even filed numerous lawsuits to try and prevent it from happening. Ultimately, however, they were unsuccessful. And ever since the decision was announced, states across the country have been implementing new sports betting rules, with states like Delaware and New Jersey already seeing some strong results after opening up their sportsbooks offerings.
One area in which the likes of the MLB and the NBA are looking to benefit from this decision is through ‘integrity fees’. These are fees which would be paid to the sports organizations from every wager that is placed on one of their games.
When the issue was debated recently in the state of New York, participants proposed an integrity fee of 0.2% of the revenue from each wager. Whether these integrity fees become popular or not remains to be seen.
PGA Tour’s new stance
The major sports leagues in the United States are still debating ways of getting their own slice of the sports betting action. It is set to be a lucrative industry, and the leagues don’t want gambling companies to be making money off their players and teams without paying some sort of fee. The players and teams are almost seen as intellectual property for the leagues.
A major industry event, Betting on Sports 2018, is due to take place in the London Olympia in September. The PGA Tour will be present, and will be making a half-hour presentation entitled “Betting on Golf: How the PGA TOUR is Driving into the Future.”
The vice president and assistant general counsel of the PGA Tour, David Miller, and the chief legal officer, Len Brown, will be making the presentation. The event is highly anticipated as it will delve a lot deeper into the PGA Tour’s sports-betting plans going forward.
Outlining their plans for the event, the organizers said: “We hope to develop new relationships in the gaming industry, inform others on the role the PGA TOUR is playing in the industry and further our own education as legal sports betting spreads in the US.”
One of the key areas the PGA Tour will also be looking at is how it plans to deal with integrity when it comes to their events and those involved in them. They have partnered up with Genius Sports, who will help them create their own tailor-made program. It is important that this is done right because even a hint of a single incident related to match-fixing could tarnish the reputation of the Tour for years to come.
This means that all types of suspicious betting patterns and activity need to be monitored. Those involved in the Tour will also receive education regarding the prevention of corruption due to the legalization of sports betting. The PGA Tour also wants integrity-related amendments to be made to betting legislation. This would help the respective major leagues to adequately monitor betting activity alongside those who are offering these wagers.
This will certainly be challenging for the major leagues starting off while they implement their respective integrity programs and iron out any kinks, but ultimately it should be business, as usual, going forward.
Illegal sports betting has been rampant for decades in the US, so people involved in things like likes match-fixing would be placing their bets regardless of whether it was legal or not. Having sports betting as an illegal activity mainly punishes those passionate and genuine sports fans that will have their experience of viewing a given game enhanced as a result of having a wager on the line.