LPGA Invests In Tech For Betting Future
By Jay Stuart | January 18, 2019
The LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association), whose 2019 season teed off yesterday with the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in Florida, is preparing to invest in a shot-tracking system to prepare for real-time betting in the future.
The system would give the LPGA real-time data like the PGA Tour ShotLink offers but re-purposed to accommodate expected new interest gambling on golf.
LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan told GolfChannel.com: “Regardless what I think of legalised gambling, it’s here, and it’s only going to get more significant.”
“You can stick your head in the sand and act like it’s not going to happen, but you’re still going to have betting issues. So, wouldn’t you rather get control of it, make sure you educate your players, make sure you understand the audience and make sure the data disseminated is real, accurate and managed by people you trust?”
The LPGA is very popular in Asia, the world’s most important sports betting market, where interest in women’s golf is actually higher than for the men’s game.
The tour holds tournaments in Australia, Thailand and Singapore next month and will move to China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan in the autumn.
Whan said: “Nobody knows what percentage of sports betting is going to be on golf. If you are the PGA Tour and European Tour, you can say it’s going to be enough to invest. If you’re the LPGA, you have to ask how much of sports betting will be on golf and what percentage of that will be on women’s golf.”
Whan is implementing a programme this year to educate players on the dangers of gambling and to protect the integrity of competition from corruption.
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