PGA Tour Continues Sports Betting Push With DraftKings Deal

    • The PGA Tour partnered with DraftKings to work sports betting into its content, potentially including showing odds on graphics and leaderboards.
    • The deal comes a year after inking a multiyear agreement to make DraftKings the PGA Tour’s official daily fantasy sponsor.

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One year after inking a multiyear agreement to make DraftKings its official daily fantasy sponsor, the PGA Tour is making the company its official betting operator, Golf Digest reported Tuesday. 

The deal is part of the Tour’s ongoing effort to integrate sports betting practices in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. With that decision, states – 21 as of now – can legalize sports betting. 

Last September, the Tour partnered with IMG Arena to distribute its scoring data to betting operators.

“This deal is the first manifestation of that policy change and the more aggressive entry into this space.” Norb Gambuzza, the PGA Tour’s senior vice president of media and gaming, said. “We have a mind-set that starts at the top and works its way through our organization that fan-first engagement is our mantra. And sports betting, when done appropriately, represents a really strong opportunity to move the needle.”

The Tour is collaborating with DraftKings on the specifics of working sports betting into its content, but options might include showing odds on graphics during TV broadcasts or on the leader board on PGATour.com, or PGA Tour Live personnel discussing live odds during featured-group coverage.

“You can expect to see some initial movement into that space in the coming weeks and months, first on digital platforms and later on TV,” Gambuzza said. “Any movement in this space will be appropriate.”

The Tour’s push into the betting space follows that of other major professional sports leagues. The NBA, MLB and NHL now all have official partnerships with sportsbook operators, and while the NFL has yet to partner with an official operator, the league gave franchises the option to name official sportsbook operators for the 2020 season.

“There are so many content possibilities with golf wagering, and I’m especially interested in to see where livestreaming and in-game betting take this sport over the next several years,” DraftKings’ chief business officer Ezra Kucharz told Golf Digest. “The potential of golf gaming cannot be understated.”