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PGA Tour open to US sports betting change

Wed, Jan 11, 9:20am by Senior Writer

The push for federal legalisation of sports betting in the United States has gained considerable momentum with the PGA Tour indicating had an open mind when it came to future sports betting opportunities.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was asked in an interview on the Golf Channel this week whether his organisation, which is the most powerful and influential in world golf, had changed its thoughts on sports betting the light of the boom in daily fantasy sports in recent years.

Monahan’s response has set tongues wagging, especially those pushing for federal reform of sports betting regulation.

“Is it something we look at? Absolutely! We always look at something that other sports are doing, having success with, trends in the industry. It’s something we’ve spent a lot of time on up to this point in time,” Monahan said.

“You look at [daily fantasy sports providers] DraftKings and Fan Duel, you look at gaming in the international markets, there’s a lot of opportunity there.”

“There’s some complexity, and that complexity has held us back from moving forward. But we will look at it and have an open mind toward it.”

Monahan’s statements strongly resemble that of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who since he wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times in 2014, has been the driving force behind a more open approach to sports betting in the United States.

Traditional sports betting is legal in only a handful of states, with Nevada the only one allowed to offer single-event wagering. However, unregulated betting is widespread with hundreds of billions wagered every week on major American sports through offshore companies.

The American Gaming Association is bringing together major sports bodies to lobby for change in Washington, with the new Trump presidency seen to be more pro-gambling than its predecessors given President Elect Trump has owned several casinos in the past.

The AGA is pushing for a repeal of the PASPA legislation, which prevents betting on individual sports.

“Everyone knows that NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been outspoken on this issue, and we work behind the scenes with the NBA,” Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said last month.

“We’re also working behind the scenes with others to determine and develop common cause and make sure that when we go to Capitol Hill to support [sports betting] legislation, we do that in a unified way. I expect that to continue throughout 2017.”

The PGA Tour is one of the few professional sporting organisations in the US which hasn’t partnered with a Daily Fantasy Sports provider.

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