Daily fantasy sports games that mimic player prop betting will be banned in Michigan by the end of October, according to a spokesman with the state gaming control board.
Under Michigan‘s adjusted consumer protection rules, DFS operators “may not offer any contests that have the effect of mimicking betting on sports or that involve ‘prop bets’ or the effect of mimicking proposition selection.”
Traditional peer-to-peer season-long and week-long daily fantasy sports contests are still OK, but those same operators are likely banned from offering de facto parlays where users stake their money on over-under combinations in competition with the house.
New York, others mull pick’em rules
The rules banning pick’em contests popularized by PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy automatically cleared legislative approval earlier this week after lawmakers declined to consider them. They follow a similar ban in New York, and cease and desist orders sent to pick’em operators in Florida and Wyoming.
The rules take effect once they are filed with the Michigan Secretary of State, which the Michigan Gaming Control Board indicated will happen by the end of the month. Once that occurs, the MGCB will conduct a review of the offerings from Michigan’s six licensed fantasy operators to ensure they comply:
- Boom Shakalaka
- Fantasy Football Player’s Championship (FFPC)
- Realtime Fantasy Sports
Which Michigan DFS operators are in question?
PrizePicks and Boom Shakalaka operators offer pick’em contests in Michigan, according to both company’s websites.
A group representing those pick’em operators ran ads in September urging customers to help stop Michigan’s “fantasy sports ban.” PrizePicks ran a similar campaign in New York, which gave the impression that all forms of fantasy sports could be in jeopardy, regulators pointed out.
“We will continue to work with regulators and policymakers to provide the innovative fantasy sports products customers want and love,” the Coalition for Fantasy Sports, which represents PrizePicks, Underdog and Sleeper said in a statement.
Underdog previously offered pick’em, but pulled out of the state last year after it created licensing requirements for DFS operators. Those requirements made Michigan one of the only states to apply the same tax rate to both fantasy and sports betting.
What about outstanding daily fantasy sports entries?
It is not immediately clear what happens to any outstanding Michigan pick’em entries, though companies have typically voided them when they leave markets. Michigan’s consumer protection laws mean that likely happens when they leave as well.
In wake of New York’s ban, and the Florida and Wyoming cease and desist orders, pick’em representatives have said they plan to work with regulators to find an amicable solution, rather than execute an exit strategy. A recent change in Colorado requiring at least four outcomes based solely on fantasy points could serve as an example.
PrizePicks did not respond to a request for comment.