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PGA Tour throws support behind regulated betting in USA

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THE PGA Tour has added its voice alongside other major US sporting leagues including the NBA and the MLB in support of regulated sports betting.

Given that there is a federal ban prohibiting sports betting in most US states, the Supreme Court is expected to give a ruling over the ban before its July recess.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and several other tournament administrators revealed their reasons for the current stance with sports betting in an interview in USA TODAY this week.

Monahan made it clear that several illegal black markets operate across the country with no one regulation or tax, preying on vulnerable punters and offering no protections. Monahan argued that when betting is unregulated, it leads to the loss of commercial opportunities and an exploitation of players and tournaments. It also leads to a limiting and confining operation for sports activities to the detriment of both the industry and the government.

“If it’s legalized and regulated, you get to a point where you can better ensure the integrity of your competitions,” Monahan said.

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“You can provide adequate protection for consumers, which doesn’t exist today. There are commercial opportunities for us, which is one of the things we’re here to do, which is to create and maximize playing and financial opportunities for our players.”

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 that made state-sponsored sports betting illegal only allows it in four states, with Nevada being the foremost seat for sports gambling in the United States. But that may soon change, said Andy Levinson, PGA Tour senior vice president of tournament administration.

In readiness for a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court, the PGA Tour says it has been partnering with the NBA and MLB to make sports betting work throughout the US. To this extent, the PGA Tour says it has been consulting with sports industry experts, betting regulators, integrity professionals, gambling operators and other players within the gambling industry to make the expected Supreme Court ruling work out well for every stakeholder in the gambling space.

“The point some people will make is that we are now actively supporting legalized gambling. Well, yes, we are,” Monahan said.

“Because we want to protect the integrity of our competitions, protect the consumer, and there are commercial opportunities. And we have a fan-first mentality. We want to grow and diversify our fan base. There are a lot of things we are doing to address that, and this could be another avenue that contributes to that.”

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