PGA Tour Set to Offer Gambling at Tournaments in 2020

  • PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan believes gambling at events will attract new fans
  • Organization doesn’t want betting operators taking all of the revenue up for grabs
  • Betting markets for next year's events are being created with the help of IMG Arena
golfer putting golf ball
Eager to cash in on legal sports betting, the PGA Tour has announced that it will offer gambling at tournaments in 2020. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Cashing in on legal sports betting

Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour, has announced that the Tour gambling market will be available at tournaments in 2020.

Monahan, who took over the role of commissioner from Tim Finchem in January 2017, made this announcement during the first PGA Tour event to take place in Japan, the Zozo Championship.

adding gambling to events will encourage new fans to embrace the sport and keep the audience interested for longer

He believes that introducing gambling to PGA Tour events will encourage new fans to embrace the sport and keep the audience interested for longer, especially when play can last as many 12 hours. Monahan also believes that fans will have more of an interest in events when they have money on the line.

Considerable integrity monitoring will be required in order to prevent any betting scandals. Monahan confirmed that the Tour has already got monitoring and integrity systems in place to prevent such incidents.

A lot of revenue up for grabs

As sports betting becomes legal on a state-by-state basis, the PGA Tour wants a slice of the considerable sums of money that will be generated. To date, 13 states have open sportsbooks in operation.

Commenting on the Tour’s decision to offer gambling, Monahan said:

You can either participate or not, and we feel smarter to be participating… versus let others control it.”

Few details released

There was no clear indication given as to exactly what types of betting markets will be available at the event next year.

However, Monahan did confirm that these markets were being created alongside its partner IMG Arena, a specialist in the sports betting space. Their number one priority throughout the market creation process is that of integrity.

Constant expansion for the PGA Tour

The PGA Tour is constantly looking at new avenues to expand.

In recent years, the PGA Tour has started hosting events across Asia in an attempt to capitalize on the growing interest in golf throughout the continent. Three consecutive events are being held in Asia this year, which are the CJ Cup in South Korea, the Zozo Championship in Japan, and the HSBC Champions in China.

The PGA Tour is committed for the long haul to hosting events in Asia. The initial deal is to have the Zozo Championship running for the next six years, but Monahan insists it will be a fixture on the Tour for many more years to come. He said: “Our intention is to never leave Japan, to always have a PGA Tour event in Japan from this day forward.”

To further capitalize on the sports betting space, the PGA Tour is getting ready to sell exclusive live tournament data to sportsbooks around the world. This project is also being developed in collaboration with IMG Arena, the official data partner for the Tour.

This exclusive data comes from an innovative ShotLink system, which tracks every shot for every player on each hole of an event through a series of cameras and lasers.