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Is it legal to bet on PGA Championship? Guide to gambling on golf responsibly

3 Min Read

Golfbet News


    Written by Birches Health @BirchesHealth

    Editor’s note: Birches Health is a leading national provider of Responsible Gaming resources and Problem Gambling treatment, offering clinical care covered by insurance and state government funding.

    All attention this week turns to the PGA Championship after Rory McIlroy’s five-shot victory in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow. Many of the world’s best golfers are already arriving at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, with eyes on this year’s second major championship. Among them is world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who was on the ground Monday at Valhalla as he returns to action in search of his fifth win in his last six starts. Scheffler is a clear betting favorite this week, listed at +400 at BetMGM Sportsbook, followed by McIlroy who is down to +800 after his recent victory.

    Sports betting went live in Kentucky last September, but can you bet on the PGA Championship this week, too? Well, that depends on which state you’re in, how old you are, and of course if you are not prohibited from doing so. Let’s run through all of those considerations, plus some reminders of how to do so responsibly if you decide to bet on the tournament this week.

    Can I bet on the PGA Championship in Kentucky?

    Yes, anyone who is physically located in Kentucky can bet on the PGA Championship as long as they are 18+ years old and not prohibited from doing so (due to their profession, affiliations or other preventative factors). Kentucky passed legislation to allow regulated sports gambling on March 31, 2023. Sports betting at in-person sportsbooks was then launched on September 7, with online sports gambling platforms going live three weeks later. By the end of last year, over $850 million in sports bets had been placed online in the state.

    It’s important to note – given the popularity and importance of horse racing in Kentucky – that betting on horse racing is treated completely differently and separately from sports betting. Wagering at horse racing tracks has been around for over a century, whereas legalized sports betting is less than a year old.

    Who else can bet on golf in the United States?

    Location considerations

    • ONLINE/MOBILE SPORTS BETTING: Kentucky is one of 30 jurisdictions across the country that has legalized online sports gambling, allowing bettors to place wagers from their computers and/or cellphones. The other locations include: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia and Wyoming.
    • IN-PERSON RETAIL SPORTS BETTING: Some states have only legalized in-person betting, and those states include Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. It’s worth noting that North Dakota and Wisconsin have not formally legalized sports betting, but some of the states’ tribes offer retail sports betting on their reservation lands.
    • NO SPORTS BETTING PERMITTED: You cannot bet on the PGA Championship or any other sports legally if you’re located in Alabama, Alaska, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas or Utah.

    Age minimums

    Prospective bettors must follow the age rules set by the state in which they are located. While most states require a person to be 21+ years old to gamble on sports, Kentucky is one of the few that has a minimum age of 18 years old. That means if you’re located in Kentucky or traveling to the state for the tournament, you only have to be 18 years old to wager on the PGA Championship using certain sportsbooks. However, some other sportsbooks have kept in place their standard 21+ age restrictions for sports betting in Kentucky.

    Other locations in the U.S. with a minimum age of 18 years old for sports betting include Montana, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C. and Wyoming.

    Five tips for gambling responsibly on the PGA Championship

    With the growing excitement ahead of this year’s second major championship, now is a good time to review some Responsible Gaming tips to ensure that sports betting remains a casual form of entertainment and does not impact your life in any negative ways. Here are a few tips that you should always keep in mind.

    • Only wager what you can afford to lose completely. You should see sports betting as a form of paid entertainment, as you are statistically likely to lose money in the long term if gambling. Only bet what you would be willing to spend on other forms of enjoyment over a certain period of time, like going to movies and shows or attending sporting events.
    • Set limits. This should take two forms: amount of money budgeted (your “bankroll”) and time spent betting. Most major sportsbooks nowadays allow you to set deposit and time limits yourself within their apps and sites.
    • Learn your “unit” size and stick to it. A unit can be thought of as your standard bet amount, and a good rule of thumb is that this should generally be 1-4% of your total betting budget. Keeping this amount small relative to your bankroll will allow you to weather the storm of cold streaks, which all bettors should expect to happen at some points.
    • Avoid gambling while stressed or under the effects of alcohol or drugs. These can alter your decision-making skills and impact risk evaluation abilities, which can lead to wagering more than you’d have intended with a clear mind.
    • Never “chase” losses by betting more to try to win back what you lost. That can quickly result in blowing through your entire bankroll, as losses compound.

    Gambling addiction help and treatment options

    If you or someone you know may be struggling with a gambling problem, consider reaching out to Birches Health. Birches has a large team of specially trained clinicians who can assess the potential issue and recommend a personalized care plan. Plus, it can all be done from the comfort of your home, as assessments and treatment sessions are all done remotely thanks to Birches’ modern telehealth technology.

    All communications are 100% confidential, so feel free to call (833) 483-3838 or email to learn more by speaking with a Birches Health care specialist today.

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