DFS Pick ‘Em Contests Face November Ban in Michigan

Daily Fantasy Sports pick ‘em contests that mimic player prop betting are being outlawed in Michigan by the state’s gaming control board starting next month.

DFS Pick ‘Em Contests Face November Ban in Michigan

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) recently announced a ban on daily fantasy sports (DFS) pick ’em contests that mimic player prop betting. This decision comes as part of the state’s adjusted consumer protection rules, which aim to prevent DFS operators from offering contests that resemble sports betting or involve proposition selection. The ban is expected to be in effect by the end of October.

Under Michigan’s new regulations, DFS operators are prohibited from offering contests that mimic betting on sports or involve prop bets. This means that de facto parlays, where users stake their money on over-under combinations, are no longer allowed. However, traditional peer-to-peer season-long and week-long DFS contests are still permitted. The ban on pick’em contests follows in the footsteps of similar regulations in New York, Florida and Wyoming.

The ban primarily affects two DFS operators in Michigan: PrizePicks and Boom Shakalaka. These operators have been offering pick’em contests, which allow players to make predictions on various player performances and compete against other users.

The MGCB will review the offerings of all licensed fantasy operators in the state to ensure compliance with the new rules. The six licensed operators in Michigan include Boom Shakalaka, DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Football Player’s Championship (FFPC), PrizePicks, and Realtime Fantasy Sports.

In response to the ban, a group representing pick’em operators ran ads urging customers to help stop Michigan’s “fantasy sports ban.” PrizePicks also launched a similar campaign in New York, raising concerns among regulators about the potential jeopardy of all forms of fantasy sports. The Coalition for Fantasy Sports, which represents PrizePicks, Underdog and Sleeper, expressed its commitment to working with regulators and policymakers to provide innovative fantasy sports products that customers love.

The fate of any outstanding pick’em entries in Michigan remains uncertain. In similar cases, companies have typically voided such entries when they withdraw from a market. Michigan’s consumer protection laws suggest that the same may happen in this instance. However, pick’em representatives have expressed their intention to collaborate with regulators to find amicable solutions rather than resorting to an exit strategy.

Operators and representatives have shown a willingness to work towards finding solutions that satisfy both parties. An example of a potential solution is the recent change in Colorado, which requires at least four outcomes based solely on fantasy points.