Professional Golf & (Legal) Gambling

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Somewhere in here is a lawyer joke, but I’ll instead focus on the highlights and keep this short & sweet.

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, a federal law that prohibited most states from legalizing sports gambling.  As a result, each state is now permitted to enact its own legislation concerning gambling on different sporting events, including major professional sports leagues (e.g., NFL, MLB, NHL, PGA Tour) and college sports.

Proponents of the repeal have often cited that the sports gambling market could be worth as much as $6.03 billion in annual revenue (or, nearly enough for a lifetime supply of ProV1s).  As a result, it’s no surprise that companies like DraftKings and FanDuel have already started to mobilize their platforms to start taking bets on different sporting events.

However, this also raises some concerns for the different sports agencies and maintaining the integrity of their respective sport.  In fact, PGA TOUR commissioner Jay Monahan has already commented on this, stating “[t]he PGA TOUR reiterates its support of the regulation of sports betting in a safe and responsible manner.  We believe that regulation is the most effective way of ensuring integrity in competition, protecting consumers, engaging fans and generating revenue for government, operators and leagues.”

TOUR commissioner Jay Monahan speaks during a press conference prior…

TOUR commissioner Jay Monahan speaks during a press conference prior to the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club on August 8, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

Of course, that also hasn’t stopped the PGA TOUR from taking its cut:  a 1% “integrity fee”.

In sum, while this is great for the everyday Joe, it’ll be very interesting to see how the PGA TOUR continues to respond as legal sports gambling begins to become more and more common, particularly for a sport that has openly struggled with its players gambling on the competition (a clear conflict of interest).  Regardless, presuming you happen to live in a state that passes sports gambling legislation, at least you’ll now have something to do with all that money you take off your normal playing group every weekend.

Cover Photo via Instagram

About Eric Benzenberg

Ever since golf became a competitive outlet, nothing brings Eric more joy than a well struck 4 iron. And despite living in NYC, Eric makes it a priority to work on his game and fitness during the week, along with a round or two over the weekend. Fortunately, he’s got a very understanding fiancé who (for the time being) accepts him and his obsession. Follow Eric on IG @hozel_rocket.

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