Between Commissioner Jay Monahan's comments and a few smart takes, we have a better sense now why the PGA Tour is taking a proactive approach to any potential gambling related matters.
The obvious issue involves daily fantasy and the potential to hop on any sports better legalization trains. From Rex Hoggard's GolfChannel.com take:
In fact, Monahan said the policy, and partnership with Genius Sports, is part of the Tour’s ongoing analysis of online betting websites like DraftKings.
“That's something we have been and we'll continue to take a hard look at, but as of right now I would say two things. One, that's not the reason we've made this move, and two, you have to continue to see how daily fantasy continues to evolve,” Monahan said. “We're intrigued by daily fantasy, we're intrigued by gaming. Fan engagement I think it’s important for any sport and you look at the activity in other sports and you look at the activity in golf, it's significant.”
This is especially significant given that Commissioner Smails has never shown much interest in using fantasy or gambling to grow the sport. But given the state of ratings, the push for legalization and the potential to use betting to retain eyeballs, Monahan is right to explore the possibilities.
Now, a less understood issue may involve the potential for match fixing or real time gambling practices, as Brian Wacker notes in covering many sides to this for Golf World.
According to a handful of players and caddies, wagers are made regularly by those on the “inside” (caddies, for example) and often done so in real time with up-to-the-second information being used in markets where live betting is permitted.
One real-life example provided by a caddie is knowing that an injured player is poised to withdraw and therefore loading up on his opponent in a match bet. In short, it’s the equivalent of insider trading on the stock market.
Such live betting is enormously popular in the United Kingdom, among other places. It’s also gaining traction in Nevada, where some sports books already offer mobile apps to customers who are inside state lines.
Here are Monahan's comments from Atlanta: