The PGA Tour is pushing for legalized sports betting.
Legalized Betting and the Integrity of Competitions
Jay Mohanan, commissioner, said: “You have to keep in mind that betting is happening right now, with illegal black markets and offshore betting, and we don’t have any exposure to what is happening. If it’s legalized and regulated, you get to a point where you can better ensure the integrity of your competitions. You can provide adequate protection for consumers, which doesn’t exist today. There are commercial opportunities for us, which is one of the things we’re here to do, which is to create and maximize playing and financial opportunities for our players. And we believe we’d reach a much broader audience.”
The MLB and NBA are among the advocates for sports betting that is legalized in all parts of the United States. The organizations would like an “integrity fee,” which is a portion of what is bet on their respective sports. The fee amounts to anywhere from 0.25 to 1 percent for covering the expenses of maintaining the safety of their games.
According to Mohanan, the PGA Tour has over the years spent a substantial amount of resources for the study of sports betting. The organization has also met with important people in the gambling industry. Additionally, Monahan said the PGA Tour has worked with the MLB and the NBA in the pursuit of this endeavor.
Wagers are also something the event seeks to control, believing it could reduce corruption. “We’re making sure our voice is being heard,” Levinson, senior vice president of tournament administration, said.
A lot of things remain to be determined. It’s not simply switching a switch. When the court rules it’s going to be big news for a while.
Watching Out for Suspicious Activity
Monahan also mentioned the organization has recently developed integrity programs with Genius Sports, a company that monitors the events of the PGA Tour. This is so any dubious betting activity can be detected.
There are also educational services provided by Genius Sports, which include a module that is presented online. Moreover, the PGA Tour has put a system in place that would help it investigate and penalize individuals who committed any violations.
Uncertainties About Online Betting
Another thing that is not yet known about the legalization of sports betting is whether betting online would be permitted. Levinson learned while he was in the United Kingdom, where there is widespread legalized sports betting, that online betting is responsible for 95 percent of the handle. In the United States, however, online betting is only allowed in Nevada. According to Levinson, if sports betting is restricted only to physical casinos, illegal online gaming will persist. He also said that legalized mobile betting would benefit states by protecting consumers and promoting integrity.
PGA Tour: Protecting Players and Constituents
“The point some people will make is that we are now actively supporting legalized gambling. Well, yes, we are,” Monahan said. “Because we want to protect the integrity of our competitions, protect the consumer, and there are commercial opportunities. And we have a fan-first mentality. We want to grow and diversify our fan base. There are a lot of things we are doing to address that, and this could be another avenue that contributes to that.
“Like anything else we do, we are being very thoughtful. If we’re to go down this path, and it’s a big if, because at this point there is a lot of uncertainty, we’ll be prepared, and we’ll protect our players and protect our constituents who are involved.”
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