Professional golf now has its first approved ‘betting content platform’ after the PGA TOUR decided to directly profit from legal US wagering.
On Monday, the PGA TOUR announced the launch of GolfBet, a golf-focused betting content platform powered by The Action Network, the sports analysis and media firm backed by the Chernin Group. The deal runs through the end of the 2021 PGA TOUR season.
Golfbet.com is currently redirecting visitors to a ‘golf’ page on the Action Network’s main site that features golf news, instructions on ‘how to bet on golf,’ golf betting terms, schedules, betting odds and reviews of sportsbooks in betting-friendly US states.
Action Network CEO Patrick Keane called GolfBet a “one-stop platform where fans can get all of the most relevant and up-to-date betting information.” The site, which the TOUR says will be “free for the foreseeable future,” will feature content from TOUR digital platforms, including video rights, as well as official TOUR data (via the TOUR’s deal with IMG Arena).
Digiday quoted Keane saying the site was “a great opportunity for the TOUR to participate in the [betting] category while allowing it to happen at an arm’s distance from them.” Keane said the parties will share revenue from advertising and affiliate marketing, making the TOUR the first major North American pro sports body to take a direct cut of betting proceeds (despite its previous skittishness about signing betting sponsorships).
TOUR senior VP of media & gaming Norb Gambuzza said his group was “bullish that GolfBet content and the growth of sports betting will drive fan engagement and expand our overall audience.” Gambuzza praised Action Network as “the perfect partner … to educate and entertain fans about responsible betting on golf while bolstering the overall gaming ecosystem.”
Gambuzza said the fact that there were “approximately 1.2m” golf shots taken in an average TOUR schedule “represents a massive opportunity for in-play betting, new types of markets for operators who have access to official PGA TOUR data and tremendous opportunities for content generation.”
The TOUR has made no secret of its intention to carve itself off a slice of betting revenue, even if some of its members believe the sport will turn the gallery into a professional wrestling audience.