Tiger Woods

Sports betting continues to be embraced by professional sports organizations. The latest evidence: for the first time, the PGA Tour will integrate betting odds in its telecasts. Starting Thursday during the broadcast of the CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek on the Golf Channel, BetMGM will provide betting odds for viewers.

The telecast will display odds twice per hour, featuring “open” and “current” odds of players to win, plus a variety of other betting lines like head-to-head, winning margin, top finishes, holes-in-one, and playoffs.

“The focus of our sports betting partnerships is to engage fans in new and creative ways,” said Norb Gambuzza, the PGA Tour’s senior vice president of media and gaming. “As an element of that strategy, we began integrating live odds onto TOUR digital platforms in August and now we look forward to learning from this first-time test in a live telecast.”

Though we in the United States tend to associate sports betting mostly with football, the PGA Tour has been onboard with the pastime since before the Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018. Its leadership spoke on a number of occasions of the potential of sports betting to grow its fanbase. After all, if someone who doesn’t know much about golf puts a few bucks down on a tournament, they immediately become more interested in what’s going on. And the more interested they get, the more they might like golf and…you can see where this is going. More viewers means more advertising revenue and more prize money for the athletes.

Earlier this year, the PGA Tour partnered with Action Network and DraftKings to create GolfBet.com

The PGA Tour has also had some success integrating betting odds into telecasts. In May, DraftKings supplied odds for a special charity pro-am match between the duos of Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. DraftKings offered betting on each hole and the overall match, which was won by the Woods/Manning combo.

It was the biggest golf event ever for DraftKings. It was undoubtedly helped by the fact that golf and betting fans were largely locked down because of the pandemic and there wasn’t much in the way of other sports going on, but it was still a good sign.

Referring to in-game betting opportunities in general, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins told Barron’s, “Think about baseball, there is so much opportunity to make prop bets.”

Pointing to tennis, he added, “People are betting on every point. It’s literally at that level.”

BetMGM was named an Official Betting Operator of the PGA Tour in August.

“The PGA TOUR has been a great partner for BetMGM,” said BetMGM’s chief marketing officer Matt Prevost. “Being the first sports betting platform to integrate betting odds into a live PGA TOUR telecast speaks to the innovative nature of our partnership. We look forward to continuing to move the needle and work closely with the TOUR to produce great content.”

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