PGA Partners Up for Betting

The PGA Tour has signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with Britain’s IMG to distribute its official game data and statistics worldwide. The deal features innovative tech components to facilitate in-play wagering.

Big-time golf’s richest and most prestigious organization has no intention of missing out on the U.S. sports betting bonanza.

The PGA Tour, whose dozens of pro tournaments include the Masters, the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open, is partnering with London-based events and entertainment giant IMG for the worldwide distribution of its official scoring data to bookmaking operations, media companies, news services and other organizations.

“Creating a bigger, more diverse, more engaged fan base around the world is key to any league’s success, and sports betting is part of how we plan to do that,” said tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.

The multi-year agreement is exclusive to IMG Arena, IMG’s newly formed content development arm, and extends to the development of a range of innovative in-play betting and other consumer-facing products using the tour’s ShotLink system of walking scorers, lasers and green-side cameras.

IMG Arena also will provide security against the unauthorized use of information by outlets licensing PGA Tour data and will work with the tour to support the latter’s integrity program implemented earlier this year to prevent betting-related corruption.

IMG Arena is working with more than 250 bookmakers worldwide to provide betting-related services such as 24/7 live streaming and on-demand virtual products. But the PGA partnership is its first in the world of golf.

“We see golf as a sleeping giant,” said Freddie Longe, IMG Arena’s managing director. “It is one of few major sports that doesn’t yet offer consistent in-play betting markets. This long-term partnership will allow us to work hand in hand to grow the game and protect the sport via the launch of a truly innovative digital experience that captures the next generation of sports betting and entertainment.”