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PGA Tour Commissioner Calls for Legalized Sports Betting

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan is joining the chorus of voices calling for the legalization of sports betting in the United States. And like his peers in the rest of the major leagues (which the PGA is rarely included in) he would like a cut of the action to go to his group.

In a revealing interview with the USA Today on the topic of the Supreme Court’s impending decision on American sports betting, Monahan voiced some pretty nuanced opinions on the topic. In particular, Monahan acknowledged that regulated markets are a great counterbalance to black markets saying:

If it’s legalized and regulated, you get to a point where you can better ensure the integrity of your competitions. You can provide adequate protection for consumers, which doesn’t exist today.

Monahan also acknowledged that regulated markets provide new, “commercial opportunities” for the PGA and its players and they would like to “maximize” those opportunities. In the case of the PGA, that would involve a one percent “integrity fee” to help monitor illicit activities in the sport.

The PGA would also like a say in what types of wagers are offered around their sports and, presumably, they’ll be the ones providing the data stream for live betting. To that end, the PGA has been working with sports data company Genius Sports to monitor online betting activities surrounding professional golf and figuring out exactly how to handle a world where sports betting is not illegal.

Unlike NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Monahan says that regulated sports betting would be a boon to his sport saying, “…we believe we’d reach a much broader audience.”

The Supreme Court’s decision on the possible repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 is expected sometime in the very near future.

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