Pro Golf Weekly

Report: PGA Tour Supports Legalized Gambling

According to a report in USA Today, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed that the not-for-profit American pro golf tour is in favor of legalized sports gambling.

Credit: Getty Images/Stan Badz

In an article penned by golf writer Steve DiMeglio, the Tour 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.”

One of those “commercial opportunities” that Monahan mentions is something called an “integrity fee,” which essentially takes a piece of the action on each bet that is placed.

“For instance, the Tour seeks an “integrity fee,” likely 1% of the handle from betting operators. The Tour also wants input or control over the types of wagers offered to mitigate corruption. And it wants gambling operators to use only official data it produces,” wrote DiMeglio.

“The point some people will make is that we are now actively supporting legalized gambling. Well, yes, we are,” Monahan told DiMeglio.

“Because we want to protect the integrity of our competitions, protect the consumer, and there are commercial opportunities. … 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.”

The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision this summer on a case legally known as Murphy vs. National Collegiate Athletic Association, which the country’s top court heard in December.

The decision could result in legalized sports betting nationwide.

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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