Deadline Looming For Proposed Michigan Pick ‘Em Fantasy Sports Ban

Deadline Looming For Proposed Michigan Pick ‘Em Fantasy Sports Ban
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Time is running out for Michigan lawmakers to review a proposed regulation that would change how daily fantasy sports operate in the state. As written, it would bar the type of game offered by PrizePicks, the leading operator according to Michigan Gaming Control Board data.

The MGCB, which oversees Michigan sports betting, filed the proposed changes to prohibit pick ‘em contests nearly three months ago with the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Pick ‘em contests let fantasy players choose competitors from various sports or events and whether each selection will go over or under a selected statistical projection – such as points scored or yards gained. Unlike other fantasy contests, a player’s entry does not compete against entries submitted by other players.

Differences Between Michigan Operators

While there are a few differences, a single-player fantasy pick ‘em entry is very similar to a player prop parlay bet at a sportsbook. One difference is that a parlay with a Michigan sportsbook apps operator requires all legs of a bet to win for the sportsbook to pay out the wager. Single-player pick ‘em entries can choose a pay-out option to let them win even if a leg is unsuccessful.

JCAR has a window of 15 joint legislative session days – defined as days when both the House and Senate gavel into session – to review changes. If it does not, the MGCB could then file its new rules with the Secretary of State’s office.

According to the Michigan Legislature’s current calendar, Sept. 28 would be the 15th joint session day, provided both chambers meet for three days next week. BetMichigan has learned there is no JCAR meeting currently scheduled for next week.

Because the legislative calendar may change, it’s uncertain when the MGCB would submit the rules to the Secretary of State’s office should JCAR choose not to act. A message to the gaming regulators was not returned.

The rules for the proposal to ban Michigan pick ‘em fantasy sports were filed in June.

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PrizePicks No. 1 In Michigan

The proposed change comes as PrizePicks has emerged as the state’s top fantasy operator, surpassing both DraftKings and FanDuel. Through July, the MGCB has reported that PrizePicks generated $8.5 million in adjusted revenue. That’s more than the combined total the other five licensed operators, including DraftKings ($3.1 million) and FanDuel ($1.3 million), have generated.

PrizePicks is also generating more revenue (and tax proceeds for the state) than some of Michigan’s licensed sports betting operators, which often offer Michigan sports betting promos.  Revenues for both sports betting and fantasy sports are taxed at 8.4%. Through July, the Georgia-based fantasy sports operator has paid more than $716,000 in state taxes.

PrizePicks told BetMichigan that the company continues to monitor the events happening in the state.

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Other States Taking Action

Michigan is not the only state that has looked into fantasy operators offering player prop pick ‘em contests. States from New York to Wyoming have either declined to allow them or have warned operators about offering such games in their states. Ohio has said it is investigating some operators who regulators claim are unlicensed sportsbooks.

Stay with for reviews of Michigan online casinos as well as more industry coverage.



Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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