Business By The Books: PrizePicks Starts Free Game Amid Regulator Crackdown

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sports betting

PrizePicks was not missing from the Michigan sports betting market for too long, but in a different format.

The company unveiled a free-to-play game Thursday that is launching in Michigan first before rolling into other states.

Recall that PrizePicks pulled out of Michigan just last week after a change in rules outlawed all paid daily fantasy sports contests that mimic traditional sports betting parlays.

Free play addresses closing markets

A free-to-play game helps PrizePicks address the issue of states shutting out their paid pick’em product.

Michigan is far from the only state taking issue with companies like PrizePicks, Sleeper, and Underdog. New York passed a ban similar to Michigan’s in October as well.

Florida and Wyoming also issued cease and desist notices, including for “illegal bets” in Florida. The companies have not immediately responded to those, though, instead saying they will work with regulators.

Underdog received a $400,000 fine from Maine in addition to a ban, as the state prepare to launch sports betting.

FanDuel sweeps E&K sports betting categories

Winning the top spot in the Eilers & Krejcik second half 2023 product analysis is nothing new for FanDuel. It is the fourth straight survey the app ranked No. 1.

What is new, for FanDuel or anyone else, is placing first in all five categories:

DraftKings and PointsBet, which is mid-acquisition by Fanatics, ranked second and third.

Bally’s brass on buying spree

Bally’s executives are showing their confidence in the company as seven bought shares on the open market last week.

BALY closed at $10.06 Friday, is up 10.3% since Oct. 31, the night before Bally’s earnings.

NameTitleShares boughtAvg. priceTotal directly owned
Robeson ReevesCEO20,000$9.43282,785
George PapanierPresident20,000$9.46409,398
Terrence DowneyDirector10,800$9.1937,773
Craig EatonPres, RI Ops10,600$9.45149,157
Jaymin PatelDirector10,000$8.8433,624
Kim Barker LeeChief legal officer2,900$8.492,900
Tracy HarrisDirector200$9.3313,136

PENN director buys, too

Penn Entertainment Director Jane Scaccetti purchased 4,400 shares last Monday at an average of $22.83 each.

Scaccetti now owns 63,414 shares directly.

GENI searching for new directors

Three directors are involved in the reverse takeover of Genius Sports are stepping down Dec. 6.

Albert Costa Centena, Niccolo de Masi and Roxana Mirica were “integral” to the company’s public listing, which went live in April 2021, Genius said.

Elsewhere, Genius will hold its Q3 call at 8 am Monday.

Simplebet almost doubles playoff baseball bets

Microbetting provider Simplebet took nearly double the MLB postseason bets that it handled in the 2022 postseason as its footprint expanded.

There were 2.4 million bets taken in 2023, up 88% from last year. That came despite a 23% drop in TV audience for the World Series.

Almost a quarter of all World Series live bets were placed in the eighth and ninth innings.

Regular-season bets grew 2.5 times year over year while handle doubled. Unique users grew by 2.3 times as the bets were available in six additional markets.

New live sports betting integrity partnership

US Integrity and nVenue are partnering to “fortify the integrity” of in-play betting:

“nVenue and USI will leverage innovative technologies co-developed by each company to monitor the millions of micro-bets placed each year at scale and in real-time. Issues such as player cheating, latency, and official game data inputs will be considered in the design of this tool.”

Live betting will account for 75% of all US betting handle by 2025, the release said.

nVenue is the company that offered live at-bat odds on Apple TV that caught some criticism in 2022.

IGT expands sports betting ops thrice

IGT‘s PlaySports reported new sportsbook operations in three US markets: