Michigan regulators move to ban prop-style DFS games

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The Michigan Gaming Control Board is exploring new regulations that would ban the use of prop-bet-style DFS games in the state. 

Under the proposed regulations, which would need legislative approval to come into effect, pick ’em-style games would be banned, as those on the board proposing the regulation change claim the games come too close to prop-style bets. 

Consequently, there are concerns that these bets verge into sports betting territory operating without a sports betting license. 

Currently, three DFS operators offer these types of games in Michigan: Boom, PrizePicks, and RealTime Fantasy Sports. None of these fantasy operators have made any public comment at the time of writing. 

There has been wider deliberation about the legality of these games. Whereas some feel like the games equate to prop betting, others point out that pick ’em-type games are games of skill. 

The Michigan Gaming Control Board seeks to chime in on this debate and has noted that it seeks to ban “proposition selection or fantasy contests that have the effect of mimicking proposition selection”. Moreover, the MGCB would ban “any fantasy contests that involve, result in, or have the effect of mimicking betting on sports”.

Legal Sports Report also claims that similar rulings are being made in Ohio and Wyoming which is hindering the likes of PrizePicks from offering their products in each state.

Earlier this week, Underdog Fantasy retaliated against FanDuel and DraftKings, which it claims is trying to outlaw their operations. 

Underdog Fantasy CEO Jeremy Levine wrote to customers: “When the Supreme Court later permitted states to legalize sports betting, DraftKings, FanDuel, and their lobbyists went to work. But this time, they wrote laws designed to make it hard for innovators to break into the brand-new sports betting industry. The strategy worked and they had a near instant monopoly, capturing nearly 80% of the US sports betting market.

“But Underdog and other companies innovating in fantasy sports and sports betting threaten their monopoly. They’ve seen our company, and others, produce superior products, more exciting user experiences, and begin to challenge them for sports fans’ attention – and they’re scared that we will challenge their market positions. We’re already bigger than they are in fantasy. Frankly, they should be scared.”