The PGA Tour has thrown its support behind a legalised, licensed and regulated sports betting scene within the United States, should its Supreme Court find in the favour of New Jersey in the current ongoing case, reports the USA Today.
Christie v NCAA was brought forward by ex-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and seeks to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 (PASPA), that sees sports betting fall under a federal ban, except four states with certain conditions.
Jay Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner, told USA Today:“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 legalised 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 maximise playing and financial opportunities for our players.
“And we believe we’d reach a much broader audience.”
“it will obviously change the landscape of sports in the United States in a significant way”
It is not all black and white, however, with The Tour, who have collaborated with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) in its lobbying efforts, seeking a 1% integrity fee of the handle from betting operations.
In addition to this, it was also detailed that The Tour wants input or control over types of wagers on offer, to reduce corruption, as well as operators to use only official data the body produces.
Andy Levinson, PGA Tour senior vice president of tournament administration, stated: “If the court decides the law is not constitutional, then it will obviously change the landscape of sports in the United States in a significant way.
“We’re making sure our voice is being heard. 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.”
With integrity such a hot topic of discussion around these issues, the PGA Tour highlights that a number programs have been launched alongside sports data specialists Genius Sports.
“We’ll be prepared and we’ll protect our players and protect our constituents who are involved”
Amongst them is a monitoring of all events for evidence of suspicious betting, an education system that will, in part, prohibit stakeholders associated with the professional game from both betting and providing inside information for others to bet, as well putting in place operations for investigating and sanctioning guilty parties.
Monahan added: “The point some people will make is that we are now actively supporting legalised gambling. Well, yes, we are.
“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.”