Players of the PGA Tour are required to watch a 15-minute video that warns against betting on games or throwing games. It’s part of the circuit’s newly minted Integrity Program.
The video talks about the $1 trillion industry. It doesn’t have any examples of illegal gambling on the sport to offer, but it doesn’t want to take any chances.
Tour commissioner Jay Monahan discussed the rationale for the video with the Golf Channel a few weeks ago. “It’s important that in that world, you can operate not understanding what’s happening week in and week out, or you can assume that all of our players and everybody in our ecosystem understands that that’s not an acceptable activity, or you can just be proactive and clarify and educate.” He added, “That’s what we have attempted to do not with just the video, but with all of our communication with our players and will continue to do that.”
The purpose of the video is to prevent players from betting on professional golf, but it has an underlying theme as well, to prevent game fixing or divulging “inside information,” about players.
Monahan said the integrity program wasn’t created as a reaction to anything that has ever happened but simply because with such a huge industry. The video concentrates on explaining how players can avoid being placed in a situation that could lead to match fixing. Such as responding to a seemingly innocent question about the health of a partner or even how the player himself is feeling. Anything that might lead someone either to bet for or against the player.
Players are advised to be careful what they post on social med and to avoid anything that might be construed as referring to betting or odds.