PGA Tour Visits Las Vegas, Players Warned to Avoid Sportsbooks

Posted on: October 5, 2019, 04:00h. 

Last updated on: October 4, 2019, 03:58h.

The PGA Tour is in Las Vegas this weekend for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin. But don’t expect to see any of the professional golfers in casino sportsbooks.

PGA Tour Shriners Las Vegas
Casinos are making their presence known on the PGA Tour. (Image: Getty/

The PGA Tour – like its “Big Four” counterparts, the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL – has embraced the spread of legal sports betting following the Supreme Court’s hallmark 2018 decision. With the federal ban repealed, 13 states have opted into sports betting and have such gambling operational.

But while regulated betting tickets are now being printed across the nation, Las Vegas, of course, remains the gambling capital of the US. The Tour’s stop in Southern Nevada puts the pro golf association’s anti-gambling policies front and center.

All players shall comply with PGA TOUR Integrity Program as amended from time to time, which prohibits betting on professional golf and other betting-related activities, among other things,” the Tour’s Conduct of Players policy mandates.

It adds, “A player shall not have any financial interest, either direct or indirect, in the performance or the winnings of another player in any event cosponsored, coordinated, approved or otherwise sanctioned by the PGA TOUR.”

Casino Sponsorships

The PGA Tour amended its marketing regulations earlier this year to allow companies invested in the gaming industry to advertise and become Official Marketing Partners for all six tours the governing body oversees. However, advertisements directly highlighting sports betting remain prohibited, as are companies that are first and foremost bookmakers.

The regulatory change allows casino operators to sponsor a tournament, and they are this week at the Shriners. Red Rock Casino Resorts, MGM Grand, and South Point are all sponsors.

Players, who are independent contractors with the Tour, have been permitted to sport casino resort logos for years. MGM brand ambassadors include such notable players as Las Vegas residents Ryan Moore and Natalie Gulbis, as well as Jimmy Walker and Pat Perez.

Prior to the first drive of the 2019 season, the PGA Tour forced all of its playing members to undergo an anti-sports betting tutorial. The program was to inform the players on how to protect themselves from being susceptible to outside influences who are betting on golf.

PGA Tour veteran Chez Reavie said, “The questions were laughable. But the Tour has to protect themselves.”

Billionaire Front Row

Summerlin is an affluent area of the Las Vegas Valley that’s home to many of Southern Nevada’s wealthiest citizens. And no one has more cash in the entire state than billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

The 86-year-old Las Vegas Sands founder and CEO is worth an estimated $34.9 billion by Forbes. His mansion is smack in the middle of TPC Summerlin, his expansive backyard backing up to the par-3 eighth hole, with views of the par-5 third, par-4 fourth, and par-4 seventh.

Zillow says the estate at 901 Trophy Hills Drive has eight beds, 19.5 baths, and 43,557 square feet of living space. Adelson built the compound in 2013, and the city has assessed the property at more than $26.7 million.