PrizePicks, Underdog Resume Pick ‘Em DFS Games In Florida

Written By Phil West on April 24, 2024
A picture of a 'restart' button for a story about how two DFS operators resumed pick 'em games in Florida

An ongoing saga added a new chapter in Florida this week.

PrizePicks and Underdog restarted their pick ’em daily fantasy sports games in Florida seven months after the state issued cease-and-desist letters.

The new peer-to-peer versions of the games are, according to Legal Sports Report, the product of a collaboration with Florida gaming regulators.

Lawmakers failed to legalize DFS last session

Florida daily fantasy sports continues to exist in a gray area of the law. There is no law in Florida banning the contests, but there’s also no law allowing them.

In September, the Florida Gaming Control Commission issued cease-and-desist letters to PrizePicks, Underdog and Betr. At the time, regulators said the letters were the “first steps in potential enforcement activity against online gaming operators doing business in Florida.”

The letters held that “betting or wagering on the result of contests of skill, such as sports betting, including fantasy sports betting, is strictly prohibited and constitutes a felony offense unless such activity is otherwise exempted by statute.”

On March 1, the three halted their pick ’em-style games in Florida after receiving another letter from the commission.

Florida lawmakers missed an opportunity to legalize daily fantasy sports (DFS) games in the most recent legislative session. Senate Bill 1568, introduced by Sen. Travis Hutson in January, would have rectified the legal “gray area” that DFS games currently operate in.

PrizePicks and Underdog worked with Florida gaming regulators

The cease-and-desist letters sent to PrizePicks and Underdog addressed only regulators’ concerns over the pick ’em games the two daily fantasy sports operators offered.

According to a statement from PrizePicks, the company got Florida regulators to sign off on its Arena game.

“Arena is a peer-to-peer game played against other players rather than against the house. This model of games of skill was not subject to scrutiny in Florida. While we prefer state codification for all fantasy games of skill, rather than the common law, we look forward to working with policymakers to protect the DFS games sports fans across Florida love.”

Arena initially launched in January, debuting in four states: Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming. It was billed as “truly put[ting] sports fans at the center of gameplay.”

Meanwhile, an Underdog representative said the company is debuting its Pick ’em Championship game in the Sunshine State.

“We’ve worked with Florida regulators, and when they previously asked us to stop offering a product, we did, and we are now following the new blueprint state officials have established.”

The Underdog game first launched in November. It was initially offered in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wyoming. The company dubbed it “an innovative offering that will bring sports fans a whole new way to play daily fantasy.” Founder and co-CEO Jeremy Levine said, “I think it very well could become the best game we offer.”

Additionally, an Underdog spokesperson told Straight to the Point’s Steve Ruddock:

“Florida’s gaming structure and compact are completely unique, though the state has made it clear peer-to-peer fantasy sports are permissible by expressly allowing FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo, and others to offer their fantasy games.”

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