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Anyone Bothered by the Normalizing of Gambling With the PGA Tour?


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Why are they allowing sponsors like DraftKings? When will players start to throw golf tournaments? I don't like this development at all. Any opinion on this?

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  • iacas changed the title to Anyone Bothered by the Normalizing of Gambling With the PGA Tour?
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I'm not too concerned, though I acknowledge the reasons others may be. Gambling is a big money-maker, and it's only becoming more so. Golf has a ton of gambling opportunities.

Rigging a gambling thing like you're suggesting is illegal, so that quells some of my concerns.

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It's not just golf, it's all sports now.  SportsCenter and other ESPN shows are highlighting gambling more and more now.  I don't love it, but at the same time, I think the US is behind the times on this stuff anyway.  The marriage between sports and gambling is too much to ignore; I'm not sure either would exist much without the other.

In Europe, specifically the English Premier League, half the teams main jersey sponsors are betting agencies/websites and it's been that way a long while.  I don't believe there is an increased risk of match fixing - heck it's more transparent this way so it's probably even harder.

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(edited)
40 minutes ago, khalespace said:

 When will players start to throw golf tournaments?

Never. But it has happened in football and cricket.

I can't see someone being able to score, say 9 consecutive 4s to get a payout rather than taking a win. With other sports they're more open to manipulation. People get found out and the punishments and consequences are devastating, sometimes leading to suicide, murder and lifetime bans from sport. National heroes like Hanse Cronje (South African cricketer) died in very mysterious circumstances and the list of offences, particularly on the sub-continent are legendary.

But I do have a problem with the number of online betting companies that sponsor companies like No Laying Up and so many sporting teams. That's a personal thing. In British football it's rampant.

Normalising gambling in society creates huge problems. A lot of young people bet online a lot of the time and within limits why not? 

Having said that, being a bookmaker is probably one of the world's oldest professions, so it's not going to change.

It must be very hard to turn down sponsorships even if you are morally opposed to what the company represents.

Edited by Shorty
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It doesn't bother me;  I rarely gamble, and even when I do, it's small dollar amounts.   I'm pretty sure the players aren't involved in the gambling itself, and there isn't a version of "bribe the longsnapper for one convenient bad snap" in golf, short of trying to get a player to actually throw a match (which I doubt they'd do).

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1 minute ago, David in FL said:

I am sure that they gambled during the very first round of golf ever. I’m good with that…

That's not really relevant for reasons I'd think are obvious.

The Black Sox scandal happened, too, despite being long ago.

The more money involved, the more incentive there are for people to shave points, throw matches or games or shots, etc.

I'm not "bothered" by it, but we can't pretend that because a guy once bet another fellow a few shekels, it's not an issue.

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Just now, iacas said:

That's not really relevant for reasons I'd think are obvious.

Sigh.  

My point is that gambling is, and always has been, part of the very fabric of the game. There’s nothing new here under the sun that should cause any more concern than there ever was.

 

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5 minutes ago, David in FL said:

 

My point is that gambling is, and always has been, part of the very fabric of the game

Well….not with PGA tournament golf. At least not in the mainstream it hasn’t been.

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20 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Well….not with PGA tournament golf. At least not in the mainstream it hasn’t been.

You’ve been able to bet on virtually every aspect of a PGA tour event for as long as I can remember.  Granted, the Internet has made it a bit easier and more visible, but make no mistake it’s always been available. Just walk into any sports book in any casino…

So no. DraftKings, the latest form of the same old thing, isn’t going to change anything. It’s certainly not going to cause a tour pro to take a dive.

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1 hour ago, David in FL said:

Sigh.  

My point is that gambling is, and always has been, part of the very fabric of the game. There’s nothing new here under the sun that should cause any more concern than there ever was.

 

But wasn’t early gambling really between players? I’m not a historian on that, but bets like Nassau were between players. Big gambling pools outside the players came later I would think. By big I mean like millions of dollars not locals watching.

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(edited)
1 hour ago, David in FL said:

My point is that gambling is, and always has been, part of the very fabric of the game. There’s nothing new here under the sun that should cause any more concern than there ever was.

a) that's not what you said, and
b) there is something new here.

The last part — that it "shouldn't cause any more concern" — is your opinion. I am actually more in line with that opinion than @khalespace's, but I can see where he's coming from, and aren't just outright dismissive like "I am sure that they gambled during the very first round of golf ever." is.

1 hour ago, David in FL said:

You’ve been able to bet on virtually every aspect of a PGA tour event for as long as I can remember.

You must have a pretty short memory, and no, you haven't been able to do this.

They're opening up gambling to "will this player get up and down" and automating it in such a way that gambling houses don't even need to really "create" the bets, but that they'll be auto-generated and done in basically real-time.

The landscape is shifting quite a bit. There are concerns about fans wagering and then yelling in a player's backswing because they just bet on him to miss the fairway, stuff like that. I'll quote Justin Thomas:

"It seems to be the way, gambling and the live gambling on sports. Obviously as a player, selfishly, I worry about any sort of sketchiness going on with whether it’s communication within someone that’s out on the grounds and could potentially yell or do something to affect a person that would have, say, a wager or something and that’s a serious, serious concern. We’re out here playing. … this is our job and we’re out here trying to win golf tournaments and a lot of people are supporting families and supporting themselves. I would hope it would never come to that. But at the end of the day you can’t sit there and tell me that that’s not a realistic chance. I would hope that it wouldn’t happen, but I’m sure it’ll turn out great, and yeah, I’m interested to see how it goes."

Edited by iacas
Got OP wrong
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8 minutes ago, iacas said:

You must have a pretty short memory, and no, you haven't been able to do this.

Not via the Internet, but yes, even real time prop bets have been around forever.

I was making them, sitting in the Caesar’s sports book 40 years ago...

Regardless though, my answer to the OP remains the same.  I don’t see tour pros ever “throwing a golf tournament”.  And, as you already mentioned, doing so is illegal anyway.

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Just now, David in FL said:

Not via the Internet, but yes, even real time prop bets have been around forever.

I was making them, sitting in the Caesar’s sports book 40 years ago...

Goalpost shifting or straw man, or a combination of both… I don't know.

"Changes" implies that it isn't something that's "been around forever." Because it hasn't. Not like this.

Justin Thomas is clearly concerned with the changes. As are others. I'm not, much, but I acknowledge there are reasons for mild concern.

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2 hours ago, David in FL said:

It’s certainly not going to cause a tour pro to take a dive.

I agree and I think it's basically this:

14 hours ago, Shindig said:

there isn't a version of "bribe the longsnapper for one convenient bad snap" in golf

The difference between golf and the team sports is twofold:

A) The team sports players all get paid salaries that are not directly related to the outcome of any one match.

B) Said teams have players of varying salaries with enough influence to actually affect an outcome.

A player needs incentive to be involved in a betting scandal and I just can't see how could work in golf without being so obvious as to raise red flags.  If a golfer is in position to throw a match then he's also already in position to be very successful.

Imagine finding out that Rory tanked the Masters that one year where he shot that awful back nine score on Sunday and then think about how much he lost in doing so.  The imagine that he was part of a betting scandal.  How much money would he have had to have been offered to make that tanking worthwhile.  Then above that, how much would the offerers have to be betting to make that worth their while? It just doesn't really seem like it's that feasible in golf.

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10 hours ago, iacas said:

@Golfingdad, it’s not just players who can do things to throw events. An on-site fan could do something to interfere, etc.

I hadn't thought of this, and that is very worrying to me now.  And now I'm thinking of the NFL games a few seasons ago where someone got caught with a laser pointer in the stands.

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I learned a very long time ago that gambling was not a strength of mine. I'll play for a round after the round (which may be why folks like playing golf with me) but that's about it. As for the Tour, I think wherever you have gambling you will, sooner or later, have cheats. But I don't think that should prohibit gambling on golf for those who wish to gamble. Sooner or later I'm reasonably certain the cheaters will be caught.

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