PGA to allow gambling, casino sponsorships
Gambling sponsorships will be allowed for players, with certain restrictions
The PGA has decided that its golfers can seek out new sponsorships with companies in the gambling industry. The move is consistent with that being seen in other sports leagues and is going to find casino names, as well as daily fantasy sports companies, plastered all over the PGA, but there are restrictions in place that are designed to ensure the integrity of the sport.
Gambling companies are now allowed to be considered for positions as Official Marketing Partners (OMP) for all six PGA tournaments and players can ink lucrative contracts with gambling operators, as long as they aren’t entities that primarily target sports gambling. Sportsbooks, such as William Hill, for example, are off limits in the U.S., but could be a partner when a golfer is overseas.
According to PGA Tour Senior VP Andy Levinson, “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. 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.”
He adds that the primary focus is to ensure “that the integrity of our competition is upheld.”
In addition to warming up to gambling, the PGA is also open to liquor. It has relaxed its policy on alcohol sponsorships, allowing distilled spirits to be seen on the sleeves and caps of players, as well as promoted by PGA broadcasters.