How a Nevada decision could pave the way for pro golf betting during layoff

April 4, 2020

The PGA Tour is on hiatus due to the coronavirus until at least the middle of May. The PGA Tour on golf simulators is not.

And in light a new announcement from the Nevada Gaming Control, neither is betting on pro golf played on golf simulators, at least theoretically.

The NGC said on Friday that Nevada sportsbooks can start taking bets on the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, according to a report from ESPN. The series includes professional drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Clint Boyer racing each other virtually. Sunday’s race, for example, will be run from virtual Bristol Motor Speedway.

“The global interest in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series has ranged far and wide and we continue to recognize the role this series is playing in providing sports fans worldwide with a much needed respite during the most challenging of times,” Scott Warfield, NASCAR managing director of gaming, told ESPN.

There would be many issues that would need to be figured out to make a similar thing happen in golf. For example, which golf simulator would be used? Which players would be involved? And how would it be regulated? The PGA Tour would also have to approve — though it’s already trying to OK a real golf match between stars Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson for coronavirus relief.

But in Vegas, if there’s a will, there’s a bet.

“I’d love to have (eNASCAR) on the board,” Matt Metcalf, head of Las Vegas sportsbook operator Circa Sports, told ESPN. “A million viewers last week … people are paying attention.”

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