BetMGM Second Sports Betting Operator to Partner with PGA Tour

Posted on: August 3, 2020, 09:53h. 

Last updated on: August 3, 2020, 02:22h.

BetMGM — a joint venture between MGM Resorts, ROAR Digital, and GVC Holdings — is the latest sports betting platform to partner with the PGA Tour.

BetMGM PGA Tour odds sports betting
BetMGM and the PGA Tour are teeing off a new marketing and branding partnership. (Image: Getty)

The Tour and the sportsbook company announced today a multiyear content and marketing relationship which designates BetMGM as an “Official Betting Operator of the PGA Tour.” Under the agreement, BetMGM will have rights in the US to use PGA Tour branding, advertise within Tour media outlets and partner broadcasts, and distribute video streams of the professional golf through its digital platform.

MGM Resorts already has a strong presence on the PGA Tour. The casino giant has its logos on numerous players’ shirts and bags, including Kevin Na, Ryan Moore, Boo Weekly, and Jimmy Walker.

MGM additionally owns the ultra-exclusive Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas. The private club was the site of the Phil Mickelson vs. Tiger Woods November 2018 showdown dubbed “The Match.”

Golf Embraces Betting

The PGA Tour, like other major professional sports in the US, had long kept its distance from gambling. That changed in May of 2018 when the Supreme Court repealed the federal ban on sports betting that had prohibited the activity everywhere but Nevada.

The Tour has since welcomed legal sports betting and sees it as a way to increase fan engagement and bring in new viewers. The BetMGM deal is the second such agreement, DraftKings being named the first “Official Betting Operator of the PGA Tour” last week.

BetMGM is licensed in seven states — Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Nevada, and West Virginia — and plans to be in 11 states by the end of this year.

Along with its players, MGM Resorts was the headlining sponsor of a skins game contested last October in Japan. Jason Day, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Hideki Matsuyama competed in the event. MGM is committed to building a large-scale integrated resort casino in Japan’s Osaka.

Player Hesitation

The PGA Tour is going all-in on embracing sports betting. And that’s something that hasn’t been popular with some of its biggest stars. Last year, McIlroy voiced his concerns with fans at tournaments who have some action on the event.

“What is going to happen is you will see more of this heckling stuff because there are going to be those who have bet against you and the guy you are playing with. They’re going to want to try and alter the result because they will potentially either make or lose money from it,” McIlroy opined.

COVID-19 has, at least for the moment, muzzled those fears, as PGA Tour events are being played without fans. That will be the case for this week’s PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka are the betting favorites at 10/1. McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Bryson DeChambeau round out the top five at 14/1.