A rule change to bar Michigan fantasy sports operators from offering proposition-style games has been given the green light. That’s after a state legislative committee chose not to review the proposal submitted by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, which oversees Michigan sports betting.
When the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) did not meet on Tuesday, it ended a 15-day window of joint legislative sessions in which the panel could consider the MGCB’s request. That means Michigan gaming regulators can now submit the new rule to the Secretary of State for it to be enacted.
What Latest Step Means
The ban on prop-style games means licensed operators in the state will not be allowed to offer players games where they could create a roster of athletes from various sports and choose whether they would go over or under a specific statistical milestone. Michigan is not the only state taking or considering action on such games. On Tuesday, the New York State Gaming Commission approved a similar change, and other states have taken steps to stop such games in their jurisdictions as well.
Critics contend such pick ‘em-style games are no different than parlays offered by sportsbook operators, many of which offer Michigan sports betting bonuses. Proponents, though, say such games are wanted by fantasy sports players and help spur innovation in the industry. PrizePicks, which is licensed in Michigan, only offers such contests to its players. Through July, the Georgia-based operator reported adjusted revenues of $8.5 million, nearly double what DraftKings and FanDuel generated combined in the state.
Coalition, Lawmaker React To Decision
A group established by fantasy operators that offer such games issued a statement Wednesday morning, noting that JCAR received more than 2,600 emails and 700 phone calls from residents urging the committee to reject the MGCB’s proposal.
The Coalition for Fantasy Sports, which consists of PrizePicks, Sleeper and Underdog Fantasy, also noted that state regulators tried to pass similar rules a couple of years ago. That effort was stymied by then-state Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. Hertel, a lawmaker instrumental in passing gaming expansion measures, criticized the move in 2021, saying the prop ban went against the legislature’s intentions when it approved fantasy sports legislation in 2019. Hertel’s tenure in the Senate ended last year as term limits prohibited him from seeking a fourth four-year stint.
The Coalition included a statement from one JCAR member who criticized state Rep. Jim Haadsma, the current JCAR chairman, and other Democratic members of the committee for not acting.
“They ignored the voices of Michiganders, bent to the will of big donors and corporate interests, and clearly violated the intent of the original fantasy sports bill as well as the will of the people,” state Sen. Jim Runstead said. “Moving forward, I pledge to work with the gaming commission and other lawmakers to restore access to the legal fantasy sports games that have just been stripped away from Michiganders.”
BetMichigan reached out to Haadsma’s office and the MGCB for comment. Stay with BetMichigan.com for more industry coverage and reviews of Michigan sportsbook apps.