While Golf Starts To Embrace Sports Betting, DFS Is Embracing Golf

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It doesn’t matter what your favorite sport is; everyone is a sports fan during Masters weekend. It is not who will be sporting the green jacket on Sunday that is grabbing our attention. We are taking notice just how cozy daily fantasy sports (DFS) and the PGA seem to be getting these days.

Three newsworthy headlines from this week involving the PGA and DFS have people talking:

  • DraftKings launched a new contest format ahead of the Masters
  • PGA Tour took a position on sports betting
  • FanDuel gained approval to offer daily fantasy golf in New York

The PGA has been cautious about taking a stand on sports betting, and DFS has been careful about offering single-game contests on golf. This week, the training wheels finally came off.

“We’re intrigued by daily fantasy; we’re intrigued by gaming, said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan told Golfworld last year. “Fan engagement I think it’s important for any sport and you look at the activity in other sports and you look at the activity in golf, it’s significant.”

PGA Tour takes a position on sports betting

During a recent hearing in Illinois, testimony included the PGA’s support of the legalization of sports betting. They are supporting the stance as outlined by the NBA and Major League Baseball.

“The PGA Tour supports the regulation of sports betting in a safe and responsible manner,” a spokesperson told Legal Sports Report. “We believe regulation is the most effective way of ensuring integrity in competition, protecting consumers, engaging fans and generating revenue for the government, operators, and leagues.

“We are aligned with the NBA and MLB in this area, and we are looking for ways to collaborate with legislators, regulators, operators, and others in the industry on regulation that serves the interests of all involved.”

It’s a positive sign to have the PGA Tour coming out in support of sports betting ahead of the much-anticipated Supreme Court decision.

DraftKing introduces new single-game format for The Masters

Draft Kings introduced a single-game contest called Single-Round Showdown just in time for the Masters. Cash games and guaranteed prize pools are available for each of the final three rounds of the tournament.

Since golf is a position-less sport, DraftKings modified the positional requirements for this next phase of contest formats. With Single-Round Showdown, participants select six golfers using a $50,000 salary cap just like traditional fantasy golf contests. The significant difference is the time frame of the sporting event.

Single-Round Showdown isn’t the only new contest format golf fans have seen recently. Towards the end of March, Draft Kings unveiled a new Match Play format with an innovative and new scoring component.

FanDuel is finally able to offer fantasy golf in New York

In 2016, the fantasy sports law went into effect in New York. At that time, golf was not part of FanDuel’s offerings in the U.S.

A lack of golf wagering at the time the law went into effect was a problem for the DFS company. State regulations prevented any operator from offering contests on sports they did not already provide.

A decision by the New York State Gaming Commission cleared the way for FanDuel to begin offering golf contests in time for Masters weekend.

Welcome to the big leagues

There have been indications that the PGA was leaning towards taking a favorable position on sports betting. Those indications mainly came in the form of statements from Moynahan.

The fact that the PGA is taking a public stance in support of sports betting when it has been reluctant to do so in the past is a positive sign for both bettors and DFS players going forward.

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About

Kim Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about poker culture and the online gambling industry. A part-time member of the poker media since 2013, Kim recently sold her marketing business to write full-time while traveling around the world. You can learn more about her work and travels at kimyuhl.com.