Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Xander Schauffele with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan
On-site gambling will be made available beginning next year at PGA Tour events in locations where it has been legalized, commissioner Jay Monahan revealed this week.
In Chiba, Japan, for the inaugural Zozo Championship, Monahan said the PGA Tour is ready to implement live betting in an effort to tap in to new audiences, according to a report from AFP.
“It’s all about engagement,” Monahan said. “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.”
The PGA Tour has long been aware of the residual benefits of gaming on its product. These include both a direct and indirect financial expansion, as it stands to profit not only off the data involved in live betting, but the growing audience that is interested in the gambling as much as the golf.
Monahan and those at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., headquarters are also acutely aware that supporting legalized and regulated gaming offers some control over the product.
“As it is becoming legalized by state in the U.S., you can either participate or not, and we feel smarter to be participating … versus [letting] others control it,” he said. “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 that 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.”
Eighteen total states have passed sports betting legislation, and 13 of those are currently up and running. The Tour’s 2019-20 schedule features eight tournaments in those 18 states.