Prizepicks and Underdog Fantasy both say they are working with Wyoming sports betting regulators after their deadline to respond to a cease-and-desist order arrived Friday.
Each company was sent nearly identical letters in July, calling their player vs. house pick ’em games unlicensed WY sports betting and not daily fantasy sports, as some states consider it. Both companies still operate in Wyoming, according to their websites.
“We have been in active discussions with the Wyoming Gaming Commission, and those discussions will continue, including an in-person meeting scheduled for later this month. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with the Commission,” Stacie Stern, Underdog vice president of government affairs, said in an email.
PrizePicks delivered a similar response about it efforts
“Our lawyers have been in contact with the appropriate authorities. Those conversations remain positive and productive,” said Elisa Richardson, vice president of strategic communications at PrizePicks. “We’re working collaboratively with the Wyoming Gaming Commission directly on the matter.”
Wyoming sports betting regulator quiet after extension
The WGC extended the deadline for each company to acknowledge receipt and state their intentions after the disposition of physical copies of the letters came into question, according to commission emails shared with LSR.
Their response was originally due July 19, or 10 business days after the physical letters are dated.
Conflicting language in letters
Both letters assert that pick’em contests on DFS platforms, where players group together over/under selections on different athlete outcomes, are direct violations of state law, but include language that makes the WGC’s course of action unclear.
“Your current business offering, however, as described on your website (https://www.prizepicks.com/help-center) is considered sports betting and not in compliance with Wyoming’s statutes governing fantasy sports contests. Please cease all unlicensed and noncompliant operations in Wyoming until you have obtained an Online Sports Wagering Operator license, or your business offering complies with Wyoming’s fantasy sports contest requirements,” the letter mailed to PrizePicks reads.
Both letters state each company “offers gambling on sporting events to Wyoming residents” but go on to say that those offerings “appear” to fall under the definition of gambling and “may violate” Wyoming law.
The Wyoming Gaming Commission has not responded to multiple requests for comment since late July.
Summer wave of conflicting DFS views
Over the past few months multiple states, including New York and Michigan, have proposed rules to ban DFS games mimicking prop betting. Last year, Maryland and West Virginia sent cease and desists, which led to PrizePicks and Underdog withdrawing pick ‘ems from those states.
In a recent social media post, Underdog founder and co-CEO Jeremy Levine accused FanDuel and DraftKings of pushing the narrative against pick ’em games. Those companies declined to comment, though a FanDuel employee called out DFS operators for “running illegal sportsbooks” earlier this summer.
Regulators from those states declined to comment about what category those games fall under. Meanwhile, Underdog, recently launched pick ’em in Colorado, though those contests are based on fantasy scores instead of box score statistics, like they are in other states.