The PGA Tour is expanding its Integrity Program with a new partnership.
Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas walk the fairway at TPC Sawgrass during The Players Championship. The PGA Tour is strengthening its safeguards to protect sports betting from jeopardizing the integrity of its tournaments. (Image: PGA Tour)
Golf’s premier professional tour announced this week that it will enhance its monitoring capabilities by developing its existing relationship with Genius Sports and forming a new strategic alignment with US Integrity.
The Integrity Program’s primary purpose is to prevent betting-related corruption at PGA Tour-sanctioned tournaments and events. The initiative prohibits players, caddies, Tour members, their families and affiliated persons, volunteers, and other credentialed personnel from betting on PGA Tour competitions.
The Tour’s Integrity Program, designed to quickly identify suspicious betting activity, has been implemented across all tours operated by the PGA Tour. Along with its namesake circuit, the Tour runs the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Canada, Champions Tour, PGA Tour China, and PGA Tour Latinoamérica.
Golf betting continues to gain popularity among bettors. And for oddsmakers, it’s been a prosperous sport, as many golf bettors try and predict outright winners — something rather difficult to foresee in 144-player fields.
The PGA Tour said US Integrity and Genius Sports will collaborate to provide the nonprofit sports organization with “best-in-class bet monitoring.”
The firms will accomplish that by integrating US Integrity’s proprietary surveillance program that proactively identifies irregular betting patterns. US Integrity said its product can also detect irregular officiating, though rules officials play a far smaller role in golf than in most other sports.
Genius Sports, the Tour added, will continue to work with players, caddies, and officials to better educate them on the Tour’s sports betting regulations and the heightened risks associated with legal sportsbooks operating in more than 30 US states. The global organization’s e-learning sports betting educational materials are offered in multiple languages.
How it Works
US Integrity, a Nevada-based enterprise, has emerged as a leading sports betting integrity monitor. The organization’s client list includes the MLB, NBA, SEC (Southeastern Conference), William Hill, Betr, and SuperBook Sports.
US Integrity says sports betting monitoring is built on four pillars: line movement and betting analysis, misuse of insider information, notable player or coaching events, and referee monitoring.
The company uses real betting data provided by licensed, regulated sportsbooks to provide efficient monitoring of line movement and betting patterns.
We identify suspicious behavior by analyzing changes in betting data against a benchmark of normal betting activity. We monitor the data to see if discrepancies coincide with notable player or coaching events, reveal officiating abnormalities, or are indicative of the misuse of insider information,” the US Integrity website explains.
Though it’s much more difficult for a golfer to throw a tournament compared with other sports like tennis, the continued expansion of sports betting products in the US is making it easier.
Micro-betting, for instance — small, in-game wagering lines — is expected to be commonplace among licensed sportsbooks in the coming years. Sometimes called “next play” betting, micro-betting allows bettors to place money on the outcome of the next play — or, in golf’s instance, the next shot.
So, say player John Doe is the best putter on the Tour, but three-putts multiple times during a round. The result could prompt a closer look from the Tour’s Integrity Platform. If such a wagering line garnered more action than would have been expected, an investigation could ensue.
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