PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said that the Tour supports the legalization of sports betting and would move to take advantage of “opportunities” for the Tour if the Supreme Court strikes down the federal ban on state-sponsored sports betting this year.
In an interview with USA Today, Monahan argued that legalization would allow the betting that is already going on illegally to be regulated, which would “better ensure the integrity of your competitions.” He also spoke about the potential commercial opportunities for the Tour if legalization were to move forward, and said he believes that legalization would help the Tour to reach a “much broader audience.” (For example, the Tour might demand a percentage fee of the handle from gambling operators.)
As of right now, only four states are exempt from the federal law that makes state-sponsored sports gambling illegal, including Nevada, which also allows betting on single games. The Supreme Court is due to review a case challenging that law in July. It’s not clear yet whether the decision would also allow online sports betting, currently only allowed in Nevada.
“The point some people will make is that we are now actively supporting legalized gambling,” Monahan said. “Well, yes, we are.”