As regulated sports betting grows in the US, PGA Tour executives hope to use gambling to attract more fans to the sport.
US.- PGA Tour executives are reported to be hoping to use sports betting as a way to grow golf’s popularity in the US.
With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic obstructing many sporting events across the US, golf was one of the first sports to return to play. This meant gamblers who might otherwise bet on football or the NBA league began testing their luck with the sport.
It’s now the fourth most-popular sport on the DraftKings website, and as the PGA championship begins tomorrow (Thursday), one Las Vegas sportsbook has reported a 400 per cent increase in wagers.
Executives are now looking at how they can turn occasional bettors into regular followers of the sport on a long-term basis.
Analysts point out golf’s suitability for gambling. According to sports economist Victor Matheson, “Golf is a good fit for gambling, there are an infinite number of things you can bet on.”
Golf tends to have detailed statistics on various elements of the game, and this is something PGA Tour executives believe can appeal to bettors. They now aim to expand on the availability of data through the implementation of new technical equipment.
But fears of corruption have surfaced within the golfing community as gambling becomes more prevalent within the game.
The player Jason Day, who received criticism when needing to withdraw from tournaments due to a back injury, has previously criticised the expansion of betting in golf. Speaking to reporters in the 2019 Players Championship, Day said: “I heard some article about sports betting and some nonsense about reports with regards to injuries. I’m like, I mean, are we going to get into psych reports … you’re going down kind of a really rocky road when it comes to that stuff.”