PGA Tour bans players from endorsing, playing fantasy sports

23 November 2015

The PGA Tour, an organising body for professional golf events primarily in North America, has opted to prohibit its players from taking part in daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests or endorsing providers of such services.

According to the Golf.com website, a memo sent to players in September said it will treat any player participation in DFS competitions as conduct “unbecoming of a professional”.

The memo stated: “Fantasy gaming websites that pay out money in exchange for an entry fee, as well as other wagering websites and apps, are considered illegal in many states.

“Therefore, the PGA Tour will regard any player participation in these games as conduct unbecoming of a professional.”

The move comes at a troubling time for DFS in North America, with the market having come under much scrutiny in recent weeks following an incident in which a DraftKings employee won a significant real-money prize through a competition offered by rival FanDuel.

The case led to widespread consequences in the industry, with Nevada moving to ban unlicensed DFS contests in the state, while New York ruled DFS constitutes illegal gambling and ordered both DraftKings and FanDuel to stop taking bets from players in the state.

The PGA Tour’s decision to ban players from DFS comes despite the Tiger Woods Foundation, a body set up by golfing legend Tiger Woods, in March struck up a partnership with DraftKings.

Under the agreement, DraftKings would serve as the official daily fantasy sports partner of the Quicken Loans National and Deutsche Bank Championship.

PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said that body does not have “any issue” with this existing commercial agreement as it does not allow DraftKings to have any rights as to what Woods can wear on his body or bag during the events.

Related articles:

New York Attorney General declares DFS illegal gambling

DraftKings and FanDuel hit by DFS Nevada ban

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