As the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) prepares to weigh in on the question of the legality of sports betting under the Constitution, the PGA Tour has testified in support of legalized, regulated sports betting in a case before Illinois’ highest court.
According to Legal Sports Report, the PGA Tour’s endorsement was shared in testimony at a hearing about sports betting in Illinois on Tuesday. In the hearing, NBA assistant general counsel told the course that the PGA Tour, which had a representative in the hearing room, shared its views in an Illinois State Senate Gaming Committee hearing.
The PGA Tour later issued a statement to Legal Sports Report indicating its support of regulated sports betting, inline with opinions expressed by the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.
The PGA TOUR supports the regulation of sports betting in a safe and responsible manner. We believe regulation is the most effective way of ensuring integrity in competition, protecting consumers, engaging fans and generating revenue for government, operators and leagues. We are aligned with the NBA and MLB in this area, and we are looking for ways to collaborate with legislators, regulators, operators and others in the industry on regulation that serves the interests of all involved.
The NBA and MLB express a view they should be paid an “integrity fee” as a cut of wagers placed in potential legal sportsbooks throughout the country, as well that they should have final say in approving which providers deliver data to sportsbooks about games and outcomes. These leagues also want input on specific types of wagers allowed.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has expressed an openness to legalized sports betting. In a 2017 interview with Golf Channel, Monahan was asked by Rich Lerner his views on the NBA’s position on legalized sports betting.
“Is it something we look at? Absolutely! We always look at something that other sports are doing, having success with, trends in the industry. It’s something we’ve spent a lot of time on up to this point in time. You look at DraftKings and FanDuel, you look at gaming in the international markets, there’s a lot of opportunity there. There’s some complexity, and that complexity has held us back from moving forward. But we will look at it and have an open mind towards it.”
At the start of 2018, the PGA Tour implemented a player integrity program to prevent “betting-related corruption” and make sure players weren’t being influenced to affect outcomes. The Tour works with London-based Genius Sports to look at potential betting irregularities for fixing and other unwanted behaviors.