According to PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, on-site gambling will be available at Tour events next year. “You’ll start to see product in the market place next year” said the commissioner in an exclusive interview during the ZOZO Championship in Japan.
As gambling becomes more mainstream in major sports, golf is trying to capitalize on the opportunity like they have been for several years now. The main purpose is not only to grab the attention of new fans but keep the interest going in single tournament days that can run almost 12 hours on Thursdays and Fridays.
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. “It’s legalized in a lot of international markets, and we’ve put the right systems in place, both in terms of an integrity program and monitoring activity.”
Monahan is fully aware of the potential risk gambling can bring, considering the ability to fix matches and rounds to sway the advantage.
“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 let others control it,” Monahan added.
The commissioner did not specify what kind of bets will be available but said there are methods being established in a partnership with IMG Arena. Sports betting specialists whose main focus is integrity are involved.
“I think when we come forward, you’ll see that we’ve taken significant steps to address that (negative bets). We’re going to participate in a thoughtful way and I’m really comfortable with that.”
Everyone in golf knows how enthusiastic Japan’s golf fans are, illuminated by the fact many are traveling over 50 miles just to attend the ZOZO Championship this weekend. On-site betting is only going to magnify interest in golf with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo drawing nearer each day.
With that being said, golf fans are in for a long-term engagement with the PGA Tour. Monahan vowed the Tour will stay in Japan for longer than the original 6-year commitment.
“Our intention is to never leave Japan, to always have a PGA Tour event in Japan from this day forward,” said the commissioner.
There is no doubt Commissioner Monahan is doing everything he can to not only make the PGA Tour more popular in the states, but around the world as well.
h/t: yahoo sports, cbs sports