PGA Tour commissioner announces live betting is set for integration

Jay Monahan has revealed that the US PGA Tour is set to become the first major North American sports league to offer live betting at tournaments and events. 

Monahan, the commissioner of the PGA Tour, announced that as of early 2020 the Tour would be allowing gambling at the golf course where the event is taking place. 

Emphasizing that engagement is at the heart of the plans, the commissioner commented: “When done right, it gives fans the opportunity to engage with your sport over a longer period of time and have more interest in what’s happening across the entire player field.

“It’s legalized in a lot of international markets and we’ve put the right systems in place, both in terms of an integrity programme and monitoring activity. As it is becoming legalized by state in the US, you can either participate or not, and we feel smarter to be participating… versus let others control it.”

The Tour has also previously launched an integrity program which all its players and constituents were bound to. As well as this, Genius Sports was hired in order to monitor all the activity and to ensure that the Tour had an understanding of what was happening in the marketplace.

Addressing the key issue of integrity Monahan continued: “Once you start to participate, you can eliminate negative bets. We’ve done a ton of work to make certain that that’s the position we’re in.

“I think when we come forward, you’ll see that we’ve taken significant steps to address that. We’re going to participate in a thoughtful way and I’m really comfortable with that.”

Moreover, the news relating to the Tour’s live betting offering comes shortly after it deepened its partnership with IMG Arena to allow for the distribution of its official scoring data to betting operators within North America. 

In an interview with InsiderSport earlier this year, IMG Arena’s Vice President Brad Van Wely stated: “For many years golf has widely been recognized as having huge, yet untapped in-play betting potential. Due to the complexity and enormity of the technical and operational challenges associated with collecting sub-second data from remote golf courses located in diverse locations across the globe, the betting opportunity has never been able to stack up against the commercial realities.

“In recent years, huge advancements in technology and a fantastic willingness from sports federations to come on this long and exciting journey has seen this start to become a reality. Golf is absolutely perfect for live betting. You have a tournament that contains thousands of shots, and each one throws up hundreds of immediate betting opportunities which can be quickly created and settled.

“This rapid turnover mirrors exactly what we’ve seen in other sport formats popular with live betting. The introduction of distances on shots, for example, are levels of data which have never been seen before. Today, you can’t really get any live data which is accurate because audio visual broadcast is delivered on a delayed basis. 

“Our data is delivered in real-time to ultra-low latency which operators can trust will deliver with relevant shot information and they can have the confidence to offer the full range of betting markets akin to other sports.”