PGA Tour's Monahan says mobile betting gives fans opportunity to engage with sport

AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

PGA Tour's Monahan says mobile betting gives fans opportunity to engage with sport

PGA Tour

PGA Tour's Monahan says mobile betting gives fans opportunity to engage with sport

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Correction/clarification: A previous version of this story incorrectly described comments made by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan related to gambling. Monahan was referencing mobile sports betting in states where it is legal to bet on a tournament from a course or anywhere within that state. 

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, in an exclusive interview with AFP at the Zozo Championship in Japan, says he sees some benefits to golf as sports betting becomes more popular in states where mobile betting is already legal.

“You’ll start to see product in the market place next year,” Monahan told AFP. “It’s all about engagement. … 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.”

Noting that sports wagering is legal in many international markets, Monahan says the Tour has “put the right systems in place, both in terms of an integrity … and monitoring activity.”

It’s estimated that by year’s end, legalization is possible in a dozen states in the Northeast and Midwest but that many states in the South and far West don’t seem to be in a big hurry.

Before the May 2018 Supreme Court ruling that allowed sports books across the country, full-service ones were running legally only in Nevada. In 2019, they opened in seven more states. As of this summer, sports books have been legalized but haven’t yet begun operating in another five, plus the District of Columbia.

Bills are awaiting signatures from the governors in Illinois, Maine and New Hampshire. Colorado voters will decide the matter for that state in November.

USA TODAY contributed to this report.

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