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PGA Tour makes bet on sports wagering to engage fans

Last week, PGA Tour and Action Sports Network executives announced GolfBet, “golf-focused betting content platform.”

Sports wagering has exploded in popularity since 2018, when the United States Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. More than a dozen states allow sports betting.

“We believe that golf fans and sports bettors are in search of a deeper level of information that has not existed until the launch of GolfBet,” said Norb Gambuzza, PGA Tour senior vice president of Media and Gaming, in a statement. “The Action Network is the perfect partner to create this type of content platform to educate and entertain fans about responsible betting on golf while bolstering the overall gaming ecosystem.

“We are bullish that GolfBet content and the growth of sports betting will drive fan engagement and expand our overall audience.”

Westgate Superbook golf betting expert Jeff Sherman said golf wagering is on the rise.

“There are more wagering options available than ever and it keeps evolving,” Sherman said. “There are multiple sportsbooks in Las Vegas where you can now wager on the entire list of entrants for PGA Tour tournaments. We have recently started offering a winning score proposition on a weekly basis and as our operating system technology gets more advanced, there will be even more opportunities. The PGA Tour is trying to get involved by increasing coverage to potentially lead to more in-play wagering.

“Each year, our Masters handle has increased and with Tiger Woods as the defending champion this April, expectations are for another record year. We will also increase our proposition menu.”

Patrick Lindsey, the executive director of October’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, is considering how sports betting could increase the fan experience.

“Like the PGA Tour, I’m interested to see how this new policy will help events engage with its core fans and create new fans,” he said.

To satisfy demand, the PGA Tour is providing more real-time data.

“ShotLink gathers data from every shot; there are more than 30,000 shots in a golf tournament,” said Andy Levinson, PGA Tour senior vice president for tournament administration. “We’re collecting multiple data points, and they are going to be potential betting points. There’s going to be opportunities over a season to have millions of markets created in golf. You’re talking about distance, ball location, whether it’s on the fairway or in the rough. Our sport is perfect for it.”

SNGA champs

SNGA Championship winners at Highland Falls and Palm Valley were Jonathan Minkoff (championship), Doug Pool (senior), John Turk (silver), David Haddock (net), Terry Martin (senior net) and Steve Liggett (silver net).

Mega-amateur tournament

The Mesquite Amateur is scheduled for May 25-29 at CasaBlanca, Falcon Ridge, the Palms, the Canyons at Oasis, the Palmer at Oasis, Conestoga and Coral Canyon courses.

In 2019, more than 600 golfers played in 20 flights, making it one of America’s largest amateur tournaments. Sign up at Mesquiteamateur.com.

The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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