Florida gaming officials are now the latest to target daily fantasy sports operators who offer single-player pick ‘em contests. Earlier this week, the Florida Gaming Control Commission issued a cease and desist letter to three fantasy sports operators. In similarly worded letters dated Tuesday, FGCB Executive Director Louis Trombetta told PrizePicks, Underdog Fantasy and Betr that his office received information the operators were “offering or accepting illegal bets” from Florida residents. The letters were first reported Friday by Florida Regulatory Watch.
Trombetta said regulators also heard the three operators promote an illegal lottery and offer money or other prizes to attract players. The letters added that betting on skill contests, including fantasy gaming and sports betting, is illegal in Florida, with certain exceptions. Receiving illegal bets is also against the law in the state, and Trombetta said both can lead to felony charges.
“Your failure to comply will result in the Florida Gaming Control Commission taking any and all appropriate action, including referring this matter to the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution,” the letters read.
The notices come as several states have decided to take a look at fantasy operators that offer single-player pick ‘em games. The format, where a fantasy player chooses two or more athletes or competitors and selects whether each will go over or under a certain statistical mark, is very similar to parlay wagers sportsbooks offer. Last month, gaming officials in Wyoming issued similar letters to DFS operators, and regulators in Michigan, where fantasy sports operators are licensed, have proposed barring DFS sites from offering the single-player pick ‘em contests.
Messages to PrizePicks, Betr and Underdog seeking comment were not immediately returned to FloridaBet.com, home to all developments around Florida sports betting.
Underdog Co-CEO Jeremy Levine issued a statement late Friday afternoon on X that included an email from a Florida gaming official confirming all fantasy games violate Florida law. "We strongly disagree with their assessment," Levine posted. "We will continue operating our fantasy contests in Florida as we engage with the Commission and elected officials."
A Florida lawyer who works with several fantasy sports companies did issue a statement to FloridaBet.com.
"The Commission staff confirmed that the language in the letter broadly applies to all paid fantasy sports contests and they are not aware of any paid fantasy sports company operating legally in Florida," John Lockwood said. "We disagree on the merits, and will be working with the commission and potentially the legislature so we can ensure Florida sports fans can continue to play."
A spokesperson from FanDuel said the company has not received a letter from Florida gaming officials. Messages to DraftKings have not yet been returned.
Who Are PrizePicks, Underdog and Betr?
PrizePicks, a Georgia-based company, has offered pick ‘em-style games for over four years. Its website says it operates in more than 30 states and the District of Columbia.
Underdog Sports was founded in New York in 2020. It offers similar contests to PrizePicks but also plans to enter into the sports betting realm. It has been conditionally approved for a sports betting license in Ohio. However, it has not yet launched in the state.
Betr, which is based in Miami, launched as a microbetting-focused sportsbook last year. While it is currently licensed as a sportsbook in Ohio, Massachusetts and Virginia, Betr announced it was branching out into the single-player DFS market with Betr picks, which was in 24 jurisdictions earlier this month.
Florida has been seen as a key growth market for single-player DFS operators. It’s the nation’s third most populous state and does not currently have legal sports betting, although a lawsuit in the federal courts may lead to Hard Rock Bet resuming online operations in the Sunshine State.
FloridaBet.com will continue to monitor this story and provide updates as they become available.