Massachusetts AG Prepares Action On PrizePicks, Daily Fantasy Sports Operators

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The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office is preparing to address daily fantasy sports companies operating in the Bay State via cease and desist letters, according to comments made last week in a state meeting.

“I don’t intend to put the executives at PrizePicks in jail. We would like to explore civil enforcement in this area to see if it can be effective,” Massachusetts first assistant AG Pat Moore told the state gaming commission last week. 

The daily fantasy sports issue came up while Moore addressed the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for an Interdepartmental Service Agreement (ISA) budget for the upcoming fiscal year

“We are prepared to send a cease and desist letter to the daily fantasy sports operators,” Moore said. “We think we have enough within the office to staff any litigation that comes out of that for an interim period.”

Daily fantasy sports operator responds

LSR reached out to the attorney general’s office for further comment on whether the cease and desist letters had been sent. The office said it has nothing to add.

A PrizePicks spokesperson provided a statement to LSR in response to the Massachusetts comments:

“PrizePicks is registered in Massachusetts as a Fantasy Sports Operator and has been compliant with all fantasy regulations while also paying taxes in the state since 2022. We have not received a cease and desist letter from Massachusetts and have operated openly and cooperatively with the Commission to date.

“If in fact their longstanding position on fantasy sports has now changed, we will hear their reasoning for doing so and will defend our position accordingly. We’ve seen regulators in other states reconsider their change in positions when we have been able to correct misinformation spread by competitor lobbyists. We hope that is simply the case here.”

AG: PrizePicks litigation possible

Moore said the office planned to bring on two additional assistant AGs for civil work. That includes the the DFS matter that is pending. 

“There is a world in which we’re having to litigate against PrizePicks, for example,” Moore said. “And that’s something where two assistant AGs by themselves are going to have a tough time keeping up with (everything) without any additional support within the office.” 

Regulator acknowledged fantasy sports scrutiny last year

The state gaming regulator acknowledged in February 2023 acknowledged the scrutiny that DFS pick’em operators were facing in other jurisdictions. 

“There’s been a great deal of activity surrounding the boundaries of sports wagering and daily fantasy sports, and whether there’s some overlap between the two,” MGC interim executive director Todd Grossman said at the time. “I wanted to note we are certainly aware of this issue, and we’re in the process of reviewing it.”

Operators pulled out in other states

Over the past year, nearly a dozen states have taken action against apps offering products regulators have determined to fall more in line with sports betting.

That has led to multiple pick’em companies agreeing to pull out of major markets like New York and Florida.