Why golf’s top tour is exploring the betting industry

Why golf’s top tour is exploring the betting industry

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Golf’s PGA Tour is exploring the possibility of opening up a new revenue stream through the sports betting market.

The US-based tour has invited selected data companies to submit bids for the right to package up real-time competition data into feeds for betting companies.

In a Request for Proposal document, the US-based PGA Tour said that it “continues to explore the risk/return trade-off associated with potential entry into the online sports gaming category”.

The document also asked interested parties to specify what level of “financial upside” is available, including revenue, profit sharing or equity ownership.

No timeline has been put on any potential relationship being established and a tour spokesman has said that any deal is “far away”.

The Bloomberg news agency reported that the WME-IMG agency and Sportradar are among the companies to be in preliminary talks with the tour. Sportradar has a data contract with the International Tennis Federation, but many sports properties and rights-holders, particularly in North America, remain wary of the gambling industry.

In November 2014, NBA commissioner Adam Silver declared his support for sports betting. However, a consensus has yet to be reached between the professional leagues and various states within a complicated regulatory landscape in the US.

TotallyGaming.com says:

It is little wonder that golf’s leading tour is exploring the betting industry. Don’t be fooled by the glitz and glamour surrounding The Masters in Augusta this week – in many ways, golf is in big trouble. According to a Harris Poll in December, only three per cent of American adults say that men’s golf is their favourite sport. One-sixth of 30 million American golfers have drifted away from playing the sport in the last 10 years, and the expectation is that the number will dip to 20 million in the coming years. Golf needs to engage its audience, and the betting industry is a tried and tested way of achieving that goal whilst also boosting revenues.

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