No More PrizePicks Pick'em in Massachusetts: The Party's Over

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Feb/21/2024

Massachusetts becomes the latest state demanding that PrizePicks and similar sites offering pick'em and player prop parlays stop operating from the commonwealth.

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The good news, if there is any, is that PrizePicks executives don't need to worry about getting arrested.

“I don’t intend to put the executives at PrizePicks in jail. We would like to explore civil enforcement in this area to see if it can be effective,” Massachusetts first assistant AG Pat Moore told the state gaming commission last week.

“We are prepared to send a cease and desist letter to the daily fantasy sports operators,” Moore said. “We think we have enough within the office to staff any litigation that comes out of that for an interim period.”

Last week, PrizePicks stopped offering its popular pick'em game in New York State.  These have been compared to popular college player props and parlays offered by sportsbooks.

Letters have since gone out to various operators.

“In Massachusetts, we have laws on the books that demand safe and responsible conduct from gaming operators, and when those laws are ignored, my office will not hesitate to enforce them as a matter of public health and consumer protection. I want to thank the MGC for their partnership in prioritizing these matters,” Massachusetts attorney general Andrea Joy Campbell said in a statement.

That letter went out to the following operators:

    BoomFantasy
    OwnersBox
    Parlay Play
    RealTime Fantasy Sports
    Sleeper
    Splash Sports
    Talid Sports, d/b/a Chalkboard Fantasy Sports
    Two Nine Sports, d/b/a StatHero
    Vivid Picks
    Yahoo! Daily Fantasy Sports

PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy were not sent the letter in question.

Instead, they have opted to switched from player vs. house to peer-to-peer pick’em games in the commonwealth.

“In consultation with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, we’ve moved to our peer-to-peer pick’em product in Massachusetts,” Underdog Fantasy vice president of government affairs and partnerships Stacie Stern said in a statement.

PrizePicks issued a statement with its future plans.

“PrizePicks has reached an agreement with regulators in Massachusetts to offer our peer-to-peer Arena game starting March 8th. We appreciate the Massachusetts regulators willingness to work with us to make sure PrizePicks members and fantasy sports fans have no interruptions in their access to our contests,” a company spokesperson said.

PrizePicks, along with Underdog Fantasy, have been ordered to leave the state of Florida.

PrizePicks says it will comply with a second cease and desist order sent by state regulators on January 31.  It has until March 1 to exit the state.

That letter read:

“Accordingly, as Executive Director of the Florida Gaming Control Commission, I am hereby demanding you immediately cease and desist offering or accepting bets or wagers from residents of this state on the results of any contests of skill such as sports betting, including, but not limited to, bets or wagers made in connection with fantasy sports.

"If the cessation is completed within that timeframe, the commission will deem the company and all its officials, directors, and employees to have complied with the demands of the cease-and-desist order, and the commission will not take further action, including referral to the Office of Statewide Prosecution or to any state attorney."

“We can confirm that we have reached a negotiated resolution with the FGCC to cease operating our current contests on March 1st,” a PrizePicks spokesperson told Legal Sports Report. “That resolution, however, makes very clear that we are welcome to operate in the state in the future and we will provide additional details on go-forward operations in due course.”

Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen made it abundantly clear that PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy, as well as the much smaller BetR, do not offer traditional daily fantasy sports products first made famous by the likes of DraftKings and FanDuel.

“We made it very clear that we do not have an issue with fantasy sports, specifically with what DraftKings and FanDuel are offering. With that said, when we get to Underdog, when we get to BetR and others like that, there is no doubt, not just in Jim Allen’s opinion, it’s not just the Florida state gaming (commission) opinion, it’s not just in the attorney general’s opinion, but 11 other states … have flat out said what they are doing is gambling, they’re taking live bets, and it’s illegal. And, yes, unequivocally it violates the compact,” Allen told affiliate Orlando's WFTV.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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