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PGA Tour opens up to gambling sponsors

Golf’s PGA Tour has revised its regulations on sponsorship deals with gambling brands in light of the changing sports betting landscape in the US.

Gambling companies will now be considered for Official Marketing Partners for all six tours overseen by the PGA Tour. Tournaments and players will also be permitted to seek deals with such entities.

The Tour said the decision “reflects the changing landscape of public acceptance between sports leagues and legalised gambling”.

The Tour noted that while the revision applies to larger casino companies, it does not apply in the US to companies whose primary purpose is sports betting, for example sportsbooks or bookmakers. These sportsbooks can still be considered for potential sponsorships outside the US market.

David Miller, vice-president and assistant general counsel for the PGA Tour, said: “Sponsorship relationships with casinos and daily fantasy sports companies will generally be permitted. Any relationship must promote responsible gaming and be consistent with the Tour’s integrity efforts.”

The move comes after the Supreme Court last May struck down the federal prohibition on sports betting, ruling that it violated the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution. The decision gives states the authority to legalise sports betting within their borders.

The Tour is also revising its regulations towards spirits brands. Players will now be permitted to wear the names or logos of distilled spirits companies, while broadcasters can show distilled spirits advertising and in-programme exposure during PGA Tour network telecasts.

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