Jay Monahan, the commissioner of the PGA Tour, sees a very bright future for a golfing industry that includes sports gambling. He is anticipating a huge benefit to the sport thanks to sports wagers and is already setting in motion a number of initiatives to help further the integration of the two and expects the continued interaction to help make golf popular again. Many of the initiatives, according to Monahan, will be ready to launch by the end of this year.
Monahan spoke at the Sports Business Awards this past Wednesday where he alluded to the new developments. He stated, “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. 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.”
One of the initiatives is a new and improved version of the ShotLink Plus data system. The platform collects and disseminates scores and statistical data on every shot in real time, greatly enhancing the in-game betting experience. Because of the enhances, sports bettors can make multiple wagers on prop bets during golfing rounds, offering more gambling options.
Monahan explained of ShotLink, “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. 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.”
A new integrity and monitoring program has been built into the internal structure of the PGA over the past couple of years in order to try and prevent match-fixing. This is almost a moot endeavor, as the sport has not seen the levels of tampering seen in others, such as tennis or the NBA.
Monahan, in a way, feels like he’s a kid in a candy store with the proliferation of legalized sports gambling. He asserts, “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.”