Jay Monahan says new PGA Tour gambling developments are coming in 2019

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Jay Monahan says new PGA Tour gambling developments are coming in 2019

PGA Tour

Jay Monahan says new PGA Tour gambling developments are coming in 2019

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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan understands what’s at stake for golf with the legalization of sports gambling.

He’s embraced the recent developments for a number of reasons, especially as it relates to what he described as his biggest challenge entering 2019 – bringing more eyeballs to the sport via audience expansion.

Few sports are in better position to capitalize on legalized betting from a viewership standpoint. There’s an endless amount of matchups and prop bets with as many as 125 players teeing it up each week, opening the door for split screen broadcasts and the potential to change the way golf is consumed with an a la carte broadcast experience.

Speaking at the Sports Business Awards Wednesday night, Monahan implied the Tour is working on new gambling developments that will be announced by the end of the year.

“We’ve spent a lot of time over the last two and a half years clearly understanding all of our options and getting ourselves in a position where we can participate,” Monahan said. “Participate with the right partners, and participate in a way that we think resonates with fans. Without getting in front of it, I think you can expect to hear developments from us in the second half of this year.”

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The Tour has been testing an upgraded version of its data system called ShotLink Plus, according to Sport Techie, and Monahan has already announced a deal with IMG Arena to distribute data directly to betting operators.

This is especially important in regards to live betting, something that should become widespread once the tech has been perfected. Sports gamblers will likely be able to make multiple wagers throughout a round on specific things like whether a player will par a certain hole, or whether their drive will go longer or shorter than 300 yards.

“I think it allows a fan to be well-informed about how a player plays on a certain golf course, how a player plays in certain tournaments, how a player plays in certain conditions,” Monahan said of the data-gathering. “I think it’s going to feed the heavy appetite that people have not only to consume our content but, as gaming continues to develop, if they’re going to participate.”

The Tour has also quietly built an integrity and monitoring program in recent years to avoid potential tampering. But betting on golf isn’t new, even if it’s now been legalized in several states. That’s why Monahan believes tampering isn’t a bigger concern than it’s been in the past.

These systems and data partnerships will continue to grow and evolve in the coming years, as sports betting becomes standard practice. Eight states now have legalized sports betting in place, with as many as 14 expected to have it in place in the coming year.

Monahan is continually trying to get ahead of the issue to ensure the Tour is in position to maximize the benefits.

“There’s so many different points of entry, from operators to daily fantasy to just games within broadcasts that are non-betting games, just to the way you orient yourself understanding the way people are consuming information,” Monahan said.

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