This week brought on great excitement to sports gamblers globally as golf’s commissioner, Jay Monahan, announced that from 2020 onwards, plans are falling into place for the US PGA Tour to unveil gambling at golf tournaments. Because the restrictions on gambling and sports betting are being relaxed in one state after the other, golf is now in their final stages of preparation to legalize this activity within the sport.
Monahan furthermore stated that punters would start noticing the product in the market place from next year onwards. They aim to gain new interest in the sport as well as to increase fan engagement for more extended periods during the usual 12 hours which a tournament takes typically. Monahan furthermore emphasized the importance of participation in golf as in any other sport, and that seems to be the main reason behind introducing gambling onto the greens. He also stated that when sports betting is done correctly, it opens up opportunities to fans to become more interested in what is happening throughout the entire tournament, since they are now financially invested in what is happening.
He stated that like with any sport, golf will also require thorough monitoring of all bets placed and focus will be at all times on avoiding match-fixing. He is fully aware of the damage which is done to the integrity of any sport when these scandals do occur, whether it is cricket, football or in this case, golf. Yet the assurance has been given that trustworthy and reliable systems have been introduced to monitor activity and to be a watchdog towards integrity.
Monahan, the man in charge behind the most significant golf tour already since 2017, stated that with sports betting becoming more accepted and legalized within the state, the game of golf had to make a choice of either sitting on the sidelines and let others control the scene or to stand up and take control over their share. They decided to get into the business now, although not head first since a lot of work and consideration have been going into the process already thus far.
Golf tournaments have the reputation of attracting large crowds. An example of this would be the recent Zozo Championship valued at $9.75 million which will feature names like Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. This being only the middle segment of the new Asian wing, added to the tour with prize money of $30 million. This is all taking place in Japan, which is a country with many golf-loving fans. Hence Monahan also made use of the opportunity to commit to staying in Japan. He stated that the PGA Tour would remain in Japan even long after their current six-year deal with the Zozo Championship has run out. He is also looking forward to the excitement of the Olympic Games set to take place in Tokyo.