While golf fans may be excited to see the next generation of the Woods family take to the course later this month, golf bettors might be disappointed. It doesn’t look like US legal sportsbooks will take bets on the upcoming PNC Championship (formerly the PNC Father – Son Challenge). The event, in which Tiger Woods will compete with his 11-year-old son Charlie, includes a lot of contenders who are under the age of 18. For that reason, it is unlikely regulators will approve the event for wagering.
State regulations, laws, preclude action on PNC Championship
All jurisdictions with legal sports betting forbid license holders from accepting wagers on events involving minors. Such prohibitions exist in laws, regulations, or both.
The language of these rules and statutes can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For example, in some places, the standard is whether the majority of participants are under the age of 18.
That would, in theory, give some wiggle room for operators to take action on events where there are some participants who are underage but fewer than half are 18 or younger. Even in those places, operators still need to seek approval for specific events.
PointsBet told TheLines it has reached out to regulators in the states where it operates and is awaiting an answer. Given the number of participants who are minors, however, the sportsbook doubts it will receive approval.
In a similar fashion, BetMGM shared it has sought approval from regulators and is awaiting responses. A spokesperson for DraftKings Sportsbook said it does not expect to offer any action on the event. Rush Street Interactive COO Matt Stetz said it best.
“Unfortunately, due to the format of the event, it will not be possible to solely offer the adult father (Tiger Woods) when he is playing with his son – who is a minor,” Stetz commented. “The format is a scramble so the minor’s shots can potentially be used by the father.”
There’s no guarantee that even if regulators give approval that sportsbooks will actually offer action on the event. It could be a difficult event to handicap.
Lack of info about contenders creates a high risk for sportsbooks
Even for the participants who are of age, the information about how they might perform on the course at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Grande Lakes in Orlando is probably scant if any exists at all. That makes setting markets for the event difficult.
Therefore the tournament, which takes place from Dec. 19-20, might be something books punt on even if they can take limited action. That said, betting interest would likely be high.
Just as oddsmakers might struggle to handicap the event, so would bettors. The celebrity power of the event – featuring golfers like Lee Trevino, Vijay Singh, John Daly, and Greg Norman – might convince operators the potential reward is worth the risk.
The entire field for the PNC Championship, which will be closed to spectators but broadcast on NBC is as follows:
- Mark Calcavecchia and son
- John Daly and son
- David Duval and son
- Jim Furyk and son
- Padraig Harrington and son
- Lee Janzen and son
- Tom Kite and son
- Matt Kuchar and son
- Bernhard Langer and son
- Tom Lehman and son
- Greg Norman and son
- Mark O’Meara and son
- Gary Player and grandson
- Nick Price and son
- Vijay Singh and son
- Annika Sorenstam and father
- Justin Thomas and father
- Lee Trevino and son
- Tiger Woods and son
If sportsbooks do post action on this event, it will be limited. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how the relatives of some of the best golfers in the world fare.