The growing opportunity of legalized sports betting seems to become more and more real every day, and leagues are steadily lining up to make sure when that day comes that all is on the up and up before the first dollar is thrown down. Many of the major sports organizations, from tennis to MLB have put systems in place to make sure that the safeguarding of data and the monitoring of all activities in already legal and even in illegal markets is in place so that there is no issue with things such as match fixing or anomalies in betting lines.
On Monday, the PGA Tour took what is a big step in that protection direction as well, announcing a new Integrity Program effective January 1, 2018, to protect its competitions from potential outside influences related to gambling. It will cover all facets of competition and operations on the six Tours overseen by the PGA TOUR, including players and their support teams, all tournament staff and volunteers, the entire PGA TOUR staff and the PGA TOUR Policy Board.
To assist with the implementation of the program the TOUR has engaged Genius Sports, the global leader in sports integrity services, to provide several key services. This includes its state-of-the-art bet monitoring system which tracks real-time betting activity and utilizes proprietary algorithms to identify potentially suspicious patterns occurring in global betting markets.
“The bedrock of PGA TOUR competition are the inherent values of golf and the honesty and integrity of our members,” PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “We recognize, however, that no sport is fully immune from the potential influence of gambling. So, we felt it was important to move forward with an Integrity Program to further protect our competition from betting-related issues. Genius Sports will provide essential support as we roll out the Program across the entire PGA TOUR.”
The PGA TOUR has worked with Genius Sports to develop a tailored educational program that will help players, caddies and officials to identify, resist and report incidents of potential betting corruption. Educational workshops will reinforce the PGA TOUR’s regulations and highlight the potential consequences related to betting corruption. Additionally, custom-made e-learning modules will be available on a worldwide basis to all PGA TOUR players in multiple languages.
Mark Locke, CEO at Genius Sports Group, added: “We are delighted to partner with the PGA TOUR to drive its integrity initiatives. Protecting the integrity of sport has never been of greater importance and it requires forward-thinking organizations such as the PGA TOUR to proactively invest in both proven technology and education driven by true expertise.”
While it won’t affect your friendly wager at the country club, it will have a great, and positive bearing on the professional links, and is a smart and well thought out preventative step so that when legal dollars do flow going forward, there will be no question as to the up and up for one of sports most honorable games.
A business hole in one for the PGA TOUR.