PGA Tour Issues Suspensions to Two Golfers for Betting on Tournaments

  • Vince India will serve a six-month ban and Jake Staiano a three-month ban
  • The PGA Tour did not provide any specific details about the betting activity
  • Both players are journeymen professionals and play on the Korn Ferry Tour
Golf ball on a tee
The PGA Tour has suspended two Korn Ferry Tour players for betting on tournaments they did not play in. [Image:]

Dealing out punishments

The PGA Tour has handed out suspensions to two golfers – Vince India and Jake Staiano – for betting on tournaments. Both play on the Korn Ferry Tour, the developmental tour for the PGA Tour. The Commissioner’s Office announced the bans on Friday.

placed bets on PGA Tour events that they were not playing in

India will serve a six-month ban backdated to September 18, while Jake Staiano will serve a three-month ban from all PGA Tour-sanctioned events backdated to September 11. They both violated the PGA Tour’s “Integrity Program,” which outlines the dos and don’ts for players when it comes to gambling. The golfers allegedly placed bets on PGA Tour events that they were not playing in, which is still a violation.

Not revealing too much

No specific details were given about the wagers in question or why India received double the ban of Staiano. The “Integrity Program” does offer certain forms of mitigation for offending parties that could lead to the shortening of bans, such as self-reporting the activity or fully cooperating with the investigators. Bans increase in length if a significant sum of money was at stake or if there was nefarious intent behind the offense.

The bans received by Staiano and India are reportedly the first ones that the PGA Tour has handed out for gambling-related reasons since the launch of legal sports betting across the US. The Tour first laid out its “Integrity Program” back in 2018 following the ending of the federal ban on betting.

The Korn Ferry Tour is a way for golfers to develop and have a chance to earn a PGA Tour card by finishing high enough in the end-of-season rankings.

In the past, the PGA Tour in the past had a track record of keeping hush-hush over suspensions. Rumors have made the rounds over the years of certain players going missing from tournament golf for unexplained reasons, with many people believing they were serving bans for one offense or another. This could include breaches of the organization’s doping policy and taking part in certain types of unsanctioned events.

Embracing the world of sports betting

Both players are journeymen professionals; Vince India has played in 176 Korn Ferry Tour events since turning pro in 2011 and just three PGA Tour events. The 27-year-old Staiano is newer to the professional scene, only joining the paid ranks in 2019. He has played in 17 Korn Ferry Tour events during his career, registering a best finish of 19th at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in June.

The PGA Tour works alongside Genius Sports and U.S. Integrity to keep an eye on betting activity to make sure that players are not getting in on the action and there is nothing suspicious that might indicate something nefarious is at play.

The PGA Tour certainly hasn’t shied away from embracing the burgeoning world of sports betting. It has relationships with many leading sportsbook operators, including BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings. This includes an agreement with DraftKings that led to the opening of a retail sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale, the home course of the popular WM Phoenix Open each year.

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