PGA Tour Looking To Cash In On Legal Sports Betting Billions
No matter what anyone says when it comes to billions of dollars at stake the moral and legal lines are always going to be blurred. Sports betting in the US is one of those sectors that generate billions in legal sports betting and much more than that in illegal bets.
The debate over preserving the purity and integrity of sports has changed tremendously in the last few years. While only a few years ago the thought of the NBA commissioner calling for a legalization of sports betting would have been unheard of, this thinking is becoming more prevalent. The pragmatists and realists know all too well that sports fans are going to bet whether it is legal or not. The only question is where all these billions of lost dollars will go. Many are of the opinion that it is better to regulate the industry and reap the benefits of the revenues as otherwise all is lost to illegal operators.
In an interesting move Bloomberg News reported on the PGA Tour issuing a request for proposals (RFP) for sports data companies to submit bids on proving real time tournament information to online sports betting operators. Currently the estimates are that golf generates an estimated $2.8 billion annually and the PGA is looking to cash in on that. This development is very interesting as it reaffirms the growing trend of the sports industry who realize that they have to keep up with their target audiences who are younger and are used to interacting online whether through DFS or other channels. The purpose of the RFP document by the PGA Tour is to “explore the risk/return trade off associated with potential entry into the online sports gaming category”. It also seeks to explore the other “financial upside” options that include equity deals and revenue share options.
Companies reportedly chasing the PGA contract include Sportradar and WME/IMG. As mentioned one of the key factors in the PGA looking to go in this direction is the fear of losing the next generation. President of LHB Sports Entertainment & Media summed it up well and said,” The PGA is at risk of losing the next generation. You have to do something or your’e going to fade away to harness racing.”
In statement from the PGA Tour, spokesman Ty Votaw tried to play down the RFP and said that they send out proposals all of the time, He went on to say that ,”We’re far away from the any kind of deal, We only talk about things when we announce them. We don’t talk about things in progress.”