PrizePicks, Underdog Switch To Peer-To-Peer Pick’em In Florida

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PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy are launching peer-to-peer versions of their pick’em daily fantasy sports games in Florida in response to their previous games being banned.

Both companies announced the games would be hitting Florida on Monday, just a few months after cease-and-desist orders concerning the original versions of those DFS games. An increasing number of states have outlawed those games, which traditionally pit players against the house like sports betting, rather than against peers like DFS.

Those actions have prompted similar switches to peer-to-peer pick’em in other states.

Peer-to-peer fantasy sports switch

Both companies called the switch to peer-to-peer pick’em a product of collaborating with Florida gaming regulators.

Arena is a peer-to-peer game played against other players rather than against the house, this model of games of skill was not subject to scrutiny in Florida,” a spokesperson with PrizePicks said in a statement. “While we prefer state codification for all fantasy games of skill, rather than the common law, we look forward to working with policymakers to protect the DFS games sports fans across Florida love.”

An Underdog spokesperson pointed to other companies operating in the state as evidence that what it is now doing should meet Florida’s standard:

“We’ve worked with Florida regulators and when they previously asked us to stop offering a product, we did, and we are now following the new blueprint state officials have established.”

The Florida Gaming Control Commission did not respond to a request for comment.

PrizePicks, Underdog respond to orders

After sending both operators two rounds of cease and desist letters in September 2023 and January 2024, the FGCC agreed not to pursue legal action if they left by March. Both companies stopped offering those games, though they vowed to reenter their largest second-largest market in the future.

Efforts to oust player vs. house DFS pick’em came shortly after the Seminole Tribe began offering legal sports betting again via Hard Rock Bet. Under a state agreement, it is the only group that may offer sports betting, though a federal court case had kept it offline for two years.

Pick’em games incorporate combined selections of athletes to go over or under specific stat lines, not unlike player prop parlays offered by sportsbooks.

More clarity on DFS in Florida for PrizePicks, others

Florida’s stance on DFS has historically been a legal gray area, though the FGCC calls all forms of fantasy “likely illegal” on its website.

Underdog notably has continued to offer non-pick ’em, peer-to-peer games, which it says the FGCC clarified are allowed.

The FGCC has not expressly addressed peer-to-peer games offered by DraftKings, FanDuel, and other non-pick ’em DFS companies.

Failed Florida fantasy sports legislation

The peer-to-peer switch in Florida also comes a month after the state’s legislature adjourned without taking action on fantasy sports.

Two DFS bills were introduced during the session. One would have exempted fantasy sports operators from gambling laws, while the other would have created licensing infrastructure for DFS and expressly prohibited player vs. house pick’em contests.

An industry source previously indicated that fantasy companies would not move forward with a new product until those bills were officially dead.