Why is the PGA Tour concerned about gambling? Because the potential problems are too great to ignore

ATLANTA — On Monday, the PGA Tour announced what it’s calling an integrity program, an initiative that takes its long-standing policy prohibiting players from gambling to another level. The policy, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, now extends to a player’s support team, tournament staff and volunteers, as well as tour employees. To track gambling on golf in real time, the tour has also hired London-based Genius Sports.

On Tuesday, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said the move was a proactive one, and not reactive to a specific incident or larger concern.

“Our brand is sacred, and our brand has been established by the legends of the game and it goes back for decades,” he said. “We established this program not because we think there's a problem. It's just the world is dynamic, gaming is a reality in every sport. We think it's the right thing to do when your brand is as strong as ours is to really understand what the activities are and to be proactive.”

Maybe so. But there’s another element in play that is at very least on the radar.

According to a handful of players and caddies, wagers are made regularly by those on the “inside” (caddies, for example) and often done so in real time with up-to-the-second information being used in markets where live betting is permitted.

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