PGA Tour Now Allows Casinos and Gaming Companies to Advertise During Tournaments

Posted on: February 27, 2019, 12:00h. 

Last updated on: February 27, 2019, 12:00h.

The PGA Tour has amended its marketing regulations to permit companies in the gaming industry to advertise and become Official Marketing Partners (OMPs) for all six tours overseen by the game’s governing body.

PGA Tour sponsorship Ryan More golf odds
More casino logos are likely coming to PGA Tour events. (Image: Kevin Cox/Getty)

The change comes less than a year after the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting, and essentially gave power – at least for the time being – to states to dictate their own laws and regulations on the gambling activity.

As the situation with legalized sports betting in the US has evolved since the Supreme Court’s ruling … we’ve seen broader acceptance in sports betting and gaming involvement with pro sports,” PGA TOUR Senior Vice President Andy Levinson explained.

“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,” Levinson concluded.

MGM Resorts has long sponsored several pro golfers including the PGA Tour’s Ryan Moore, who is a Las Vegas resident. But under the new OMP stipulation, such companies will be able to sponsor actual tournaments, and market their casino and gaming operations.

The PGA Tour oversees its namesake tour, as well as the PGA Tour Champions, Tour, Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada, PGA Tour Latinoamerica, and PGA Tour China.

Golf and Gambling

Visit any course on the weekend and friendly wagers among friends are occurring. It’s long been suspected that is happening on the PGA Tour, too. Pre-tournament practice rounds are where most of the money is wagered among players, Phil Mickelson being one of the more notorious names who fancies a bet.

Mickelson paired off against Tiger Woods in a one-on-one winner-take-all $9 million match over the Thanksgiving holiday. The sports betting spectacular featured various side wagers between the two superstars.

Now, sports betting companies, casinos, and daily fantasy sports operators will be permitted to advertise on the PGA Tour. But Tour Vice President and Assistant General Counsel David Miller adds, “Any relationship must promote responsible gaming and be consistent with the Tour’s integrity efforts.”

“We want to develop partnerships in the gaming and fantasy industry that drive fan engagement – that provide our fans a deeper way to enjoy golf,” Miller detailed. “We expect these partnerships will help create new golf gaming products that will enhance the in-venue and at-home fan experience.”

Game Integrity

With sports betting expanding across the country – now legalized in nine additional states not named Nevada – assuring that rogue influences do not infiltrate sports is of utmost concern. Prior to the 2018 PGA Tour season teeing off, players were required to undergo an online anti-gambling tutorial.

The program was tailored to educate players on how to protect themselves from outside influences looking to tilt outcomes in their favor as it relates to sports betting.

“I thought the questions were laughable. They were all like first-grade-level questions,” PGA Tour veteran Chez Reavie said after undergoing the experience. “I would like to think everyone out here already knows the answer to those questions. But the Tour has to protect themselves.”