Regulated sportsbooks certainly know this. Jay Rood, VP of race and sports for MGM Resorts International, said as much to Golfweek.
“There is no comparison. It’s easily the most heavily bet-on golf tournament of the year.”
Certainly, Nevada sports betting has long had time to enjoy the rewards of Masters wagering. This year, though, other states with regulated industries will take advantage.
And already, the potential future of golf betting will come to the forefront. That’s what you get when you combine in-play wagering and the broadcast of every shot at Augusta National. While these two features cannot be found within a single app (yet), it does offer a glimpse into what wagering on golf tournaments might look like down the road.
In-play betting laid golf roots last year
As the 2018 golf season wound down, legalized sports betting began flexing its muscle.
The Ryder Cup, for example, offered a platform for operators to push golf wagering to an unprecedented level. Kambi Group allowed bettors to lay money down on every shot during the global tournament, providing swing-by-swing and hole-by-hole coverage.
Such live betting took hold after that September 2018 event and carried over to the Match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. In-play wagering will certainly continue for the Masters, the first major of the 2019 golf season.
To boot, the Masters itself expects to provide viewers with an added bonus.
Masters to stream every shot of the tournament
For decades, the tradition-unlike-any-other tournament did its best to broadcast as much action as it could. But, hey, there’s only so much time allowable to fill with live shots and highlights. And that space becomes even more finite when you factor in the performance of golfers who are miles behind the leaders and contenders.
This year, however, the Masters has a solution.
Fred Ridley, the tournament’s chairman, announced Wednesday that the Masters will stream “every shot within camera range,” according to Golfweek. To boot, within only a few minutes of a hole’s completion, viewers will have the ability to watch edited clips of every shot of that hole. All of this will be available on the Masters’ website and app.
“For the first time ever in golf, we will capture virtually every shot of every player during every competitive round. … Within minutes of every shot, this added content will now allow our fans online to follow their favorite players from their drive off the first tee to their final putt on the 18th green.”
This is the future of golf betting
To be fair, not every shot will be captured by Masters’ cameras. But certainly, more action than ever will find its way to the archives.
For now, when it comes to in-play wagering, bettors only have a scorecard on which to base their bets. “Will Jordan Spieth par the 17th hole?” Well, let’s see how his last three holes have gone.
With this Masters coverage, bettors now have the advantage of seeing how Speith achieved those three scores. Did he scramble out of the pine needles? Did he stripe the fairway, stick an approach and tap in a birdie? What does his body language look like?
This is what can revolutionize in-play betting for golf. This is the future. And this is how legal wagering on golf can grow even more, as Rood told Golfweek.
“I think golf has the most area to grow of all the major sports from where they are currently. A couple (of) things that have to happen with the data from the PGA Tour coming into our wagering system. We need to get something that’s a little bit more real time and develops some models around it that can spit out some basic pricing on that.”