PGA Tour voices support of legal sports betting in wake of Court ruling


The PGA Tour Monday re-asserted its support of legalized sports betting after the Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning the practice outside Nevada.

PGA Commissioner Jay Moynahan had voiced his support for legal wagering on Tour events prior to the Court’s ruling.

“Following the Supreme Court’s ruling today, the 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 league,” the Tour said Monday in a statement.

The Tour has been working with Major League Baseball and the NBA in anticipation of the Court striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

It is estimated that legalized sports betting could generate $6.03 billion in revenue above board and the pro leagues want a piece of it, most likely in a the form a small percentage of the action wagered in each particular sport.

“We remain aligned with the NBA and MLB in this area, and we will continue with our collective efforts to work with legislators, regulators, operators and others in the industry on regulation that serves the interests of all involved,” the Tour added in its Monday statement.

The Tour has been monitoring betting on players and events through an  Integrity Program it implemented in 2018.  Its longstanding policy preventing players from wagering or participating in gambling related activities at Tour events was expanded the likes of player support teams, tournament staff and volunteers, PGA Tour staffers and its policy board.

Fans are a different story. Legal betting on PGA Tour events will likely increase fan interest and viewership. That holds true for all pro sports.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban put it this way on CNBC Monday: “I think everybody who owns top-four professional sports team just basically saw the value of their team double at least. It feels good.” Cuban said. “It could finally become fun to go to a baseball game again.”

Currently, legal sports books in Nevada accepting wagering via on-line apps from people inside the state’s borders. Expect legal sports betting to expand quickly across those states – including Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Mississippi and Pennsylvania – that have either already overturned PASPA or have long pushed for sports betting.

The Supreme Court case was brought by the state of New Jersey and reversed an appeals court ruling. A 7-2 majority of justices declared that the federal ban on sports wagering is unconstitutional.

“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own.” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his majority decision.

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