With the rise in popularity of daily fantasy contests (draftkings/fanduel), and the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning the ban on state sponsored sports betting, we at Frogger Golf have been debating if legalized sports betting would be good for the game.
Gambling can always become a tough scenario if not properly controlled, and the chance to lose money always seems greater than the chance to make it. But a lack of control is exactly what’s happening to the sports betting world in the United States right now. There are already many people using offshore websites to place bets on golf. The PGA Tour knows this, so why not regulate and tax these people instead of labeling them as criminal? Use some of the profit to fund gambling addiction treatment centers for people that need it, and then find important causes to support with the rest of the income. If we have the correct educational system in place, we can do more to ensure that people don’t make costly mistakes. You only need to be 18 to buy a scratch off lottery ticket in this country, but what did you learn about the dangers of buying scratch off tickets in school? Probably not a lot.
Legalizing state sports betting would do more good for the game of golf than bad. Think about all the opportunities the PGA Tour would be able to take advantage of if all the sudden 300 or so more million people got access to the chance to win money through watching golf. If the PGA Tour wants to grow the game, legalized betting is one of the channels that would prove to be the most effective. Not only would more betting make the viewership of tournaments go through the roof, but also there would be a larger demand for more comprehensive coverage of tournaments, thus opening more advertising opportunities. If you needed Ollie Schniederjans to break 68 to win a thousand dollars you might be inclined to want to watch every single shot Ollie hits on Sunday. Let’s grow the game in any way we can, so that we can all keep playing and enjoying this fantastic sport.
We learned all the way back in the time of prohibition that if you take away something people want, the “users” will just find a way around. Should the government be in the business of protecting the people from their own desires and urges to gamble? We at Frogger think not. Rather, an educational approach to betting needs to be rolled out in conjunction with legalization. If you can legally “bet” on the price of corn or wheat or the profits of some company, then why shouldn’t you be able to bet on something like who wins a golf tournament? Plus, who’s to say you won’t throw away a thousand dollars on DraftKings or some other daily fantasy platform?
We’d love to hear more thoughts on this debate as the Supreme Court inches closer to a decision! Leave us a comment below!