In an effort to protect its events from potentially nefarious outside influences, yesterday saw the PGA Tour announce that it will implement its new Integrity Program from next year to considerably extend its prohibition on golf betting.
Players have long been forbidden from wagering on PGA Tour events but the professional golf tour organizer explained that its new policy, which is to come into force from January 1, is to extend this proscription to support teams, volunteers and tournament staff as well as well as to members of its policy board.
By instituting its Integrity Program, the PGA Tour declared that it aims to “maintain integrity and prevent and mitigate betting-related corruption in PGA Tour competitions” so as to protect “the welfare of the players and others involved” and ensure that its events always reflect “the best efforts of the players”. It stated that the new regime is to also encompass “clear policies and regulations” alongside “ongoing education and training” together with “effective and consistent monitoring and enforcement functions”.
As part of the roll-out of its Integrity Program, the PGA Tour explained that it has engaged British sports integrity services innovator Genius Sports Group Limited to provide it with a bet monitoring system that will track wagering patterns and spot any suspicious trends. The pair is to moreover debut an educational program across all six of its professional tours that has been designed to help players, caddies and officials “identify, resist and report incidents of potential betting corruption”.
“The bedrock of PGA Tour competitions are the inherent values of golf and the honesty and integrity of our members,” read a statement from Jay Monahan, Commissioner for the PGA Tour. “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 [Group Limited] will provide essential support as we roll out the program across the entire PGA Tour.”