In the wake of a recent rule implemented by Michigan gaming regulators, PrizePicks has decided it will stop offering its pick ‘em-style single-player fantasy sports game in the state.
The Georgia-based DFS operator informed its Michigan users via an email last week it would discontinue its real-money contests there after Nov. 8. The decision comes in the wake of changes made by the Michigan Gaming Control Board – which oversees Michigan sports betting as well as online casinos – to its guidelines overseeing licensed fantasy sports operators. The revised rules prohibit fantasy games where contestants pick athletes and choose whether each of their selections will go over or remain under a certain statistical threshold.
Critics, which include fantasy sports and sports betting operators DraftKings and FanDuel, say such contests are tantamount to parlays on prop wagering markets available at online sportsbooks in Michigan as well as dozens of other states. Under state law, the minimum age to register for a Michigan sports betting apps account is 21, but the minimum age for DFS contests is 18. PrizePicks earlier this year set its minimum age to 19 in all its states except for Arizona and Massachusetts, where state law limits those games to adults 21 and up.
PrizePicks and other operators offering such games say they are operating within the bounds of fantasy sports and offering innovative games their customers want.
While PrizePicks will stop its real-money game, the operator is working on a free-play game that will debut in the state, BetMichigan.com has learned. More details about that contest will be forthcoming. In the meantime, stay with BetMichigan.com for more industry news and the best Michigan sportsbook promos available.
Move May Be Costly To Michigan
The PrizePicks departure from Michigan as a real-money operator means the state will likely lose thousands of dollars in revenue per month. As a licensed operator, PrizePicks emerged about a year ago as the state’s top fantasy sports provider. Through August, the company reported adjusted revenues of more than $9 million, more than the other five operators combined to produce. Michigan taxes that revenue at 8.4%, meaning the state has received more than $762,000 for the first eight months of the year. That figure likely would have increased significantly, as pro football is a top market for fantasy sports providers.
Michigan is not the only state that has targeted pick ‘em contests offered by PrizePicks and other operators. The New York State Gaming Commission passed a similar rule earlier this month, and on Monday, the Colorado Division of Gaming held a hearing about its proposed rule changes that would ban such games. Officials with the North Carolina State Lottery are also proposing to make such games off limits as they start to create rules for sports betting, which will start in that state next year.
More About PrizePicks
PrizePicks has emerged in recent years as a top fantasy sports company. It’s available in more than 30 states – including places such as California, Texas, Georgia and several others where legal sports betting options are not yet available.
In August the company was again honored by Inc., earning a spot in the magazine’s Inc. 5000, which honors the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the country. It was ranked No. 136 this year after reporting a three-year growth rate of 3,712%.