Sleeper Pulls Pick’Em Games As NY Fantasy Sports Rules Take Effect

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Sleeper, one of the most downloaded daily fantasy sports apps this NFL season, stopped offering some contests in New York this week as a ban targeting pick’em DFS took effect.

New York rules banning DFS games “based on proposition betting or contests that have the effect of mimicking proposition betting” took effect Wednesday, as they were finalized in the state register. That same day, Sleeper, which is ranked second in DFS downloads by JMP Securities, added New York to a list of excluded states on its website.

PrizePicks, Underdog still taking entries

PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy continue to offer pick’em games in the Empire State and have indicated no plans for an exit.

Both operate in New York under temporary fantasy sports licensees and have been in talks with the New York Gaming State Commission for a more permanent standing, according to spokespeople with both companies.

“We will continue to work with the gaming commission to ensure we operate under finalized fantasy sports rules,” an Underdog spokesperson said in a statement.

Before the rules became final, PrizePicks sent emails to customers urging them to ask the Commission to “stop the ban on fantasy sports.”

“The NYGC staff have been terrific partners through this transition period to a new permanent licensing process. We remain in regular communication with them,” a PrizePicks spokesperson said.

Sleeper avoids unknown penalties

The NYSGC has not specified what actions it might take against companies deemed in violation of the rule.

“Any operator that may offer contests that are not permitted by law does so at the risk of enforcement penalties. The Gaming Commission does not comment on investigations of violations that may be pending,” a spokesperson with the NYSGC said in an emailed statement.

The Coalition for Fantasy Sports, which represents PrizePicks, Sleeper and Underdog, did not respond to a request for comment.

Pick’em a hot topic in US market

Pick’em games, where users parlay over/under selections on athlete stat outcomes against the house for money, have drawn attention in other states recently as well:

The companies continue to operate in all of these states despite the rule changes and warning notices.