“As the situation with legalized sports betting in the U.S. has evolved since the Supreme Court’s ruling last May, we’ve seen broader acceptance in sports betting and gaming involvement with pro sports,” PGA TOUR Senior Vice President Andy Levinson said.
Gambling companies can now be considered for Official Marketing Partners (OMPs) for all six tours overseen by the PGA Tour, and tournaments and players also can seek sponsored deals with such entities. Players were informed of the policy change during a meeting on Tuesday afternoon prior to this week’s The Honda Classic. The change is effective immediately.
While the revision applies to larger casino companies, it does not apply in the U.S. to companies whose primary purpose is sports betting, such as pure sportsbooks or bookmakers which, however, can still be considered for potential sponsorships outside the U.S. market.
The PGA Tour conducted a comprehensive review of its policies, specifically as they applied to the organization, players, tournaments and other partners. Prior to Tuesday’s revision, the PGA Tour had prohibited any association with gambling companies.
“We felt it was time to look at our policies, given the public perception around gaming, and to update those policies to be consistent with public sentiment,” Levinson added.
“Sponsorship relationships with casinos and daily fantasy sports companies will generally be permitted,” added David Miller, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for the PGA TOUR. “Any relationship must promote responsible gaming and be consistent with the TOUR’s integrity efforts.”
The Tour has engaged Genius Sports, the global leader in sports integrity services, to develop a tailored educational program that will help players, caddies and officials to identify, resist and report incidents of potential betting corruption. Players and support staff, tournament staffers and volunteers, PGA Tour staff and the PGA Tour Policy Board all must adhere to the Integrity Program.
“We want to develop partnerships in the gaming and fantasy industry that drive fan engagement – that provide our fans a deeper way to enjoy golf,” Miller said. “We expect these partnerships will help create new golf gaming products that will enhance the in-venue and at-home fan experience.”
Source: GMB / PGA Tour