Daily Fantasy Sports Returns to Sunshine State with Peer-to-Peer Games

PrizePicks told Covers on Monday that the popular DFS site returned to Florida for the first time since exiting the state on March 1. 

Apr 22, 2024 • 18:06 ET • 4 min read
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Daily Fantasy Sports is back on in the Sunshine State with a legally-compliant approach.

PrizePicks told Covers on Monday that the popular DFS site returned to Florida for the first time since exiting the state on March 1. 

PrizePicks Arena, a peer-to-peer game that pits players against each other rather than the house, has launched in Florida and is compliant with state laws. 

“This model of games of skill was not subject to scrutiny in Florida,” a spokesperson said. “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.”

Fellow DFS operator Underdog Fantasy is also reportedly set to offer a similar peer-to-peer game in the Sunshine State. Underdog did not respond to a request for comment.

Taking exception

Florida regulators were not into the DFS pick’em-style games that allow players to make prop-like picks and get paid by the operator for hitting a combination of them.

PrizePicks, Underdog Fantasy, and Betr received cease-and-desist letters in Sept. 2023 from the Florida Gaming Control Commission, which determined DFS businesses were operating illegally. 

"This alleged conduct is strictly prohibited in Florida and constitutes criminal activity," FGCC Executive Director Louis Trombetta wrote. "Accordingly... I am hereby demanding you immediately cease and desist offering or accepting bets or wagers from residents of this state on the results of any contests of skill such as sports betting, including, but not limited to, bets or wagers made in connection with fantasy sports."  

PrizePicks complied at the end of February before pledging to resolve the issue and return. 

The only legal online sports betting in Florida is through the Seminole Nation’s Hard Rock mobile app.

Complex situation

PrizePicks offers some sort of DFS games in 33 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Canadian provinces except for Ontario.

Florida is not the only state PrizePicks has had to alter its approach, and the DFS operator reached a $15 million settlement with the New York Gaming Commission in February after regulators determined the site was operating illegally. It has yet to return to the Empire State.

The PrizePicks Arena game, which is more state-compliant, first launched in Tennessee, Alabama, West Virginia, and Wyoming and has expanded into Arizona and Massachusetts, where it ran into legal operating issues as well. 

The peer-to-peer game allows users to pick at least two players from different teams. Once more or less statistical selections are made on the players, a user’s entry is placed in a group against other users, and payouts are based on having a perfect team or the most correct selections among the fellow competitors, eliminating the against-the-house issues.  

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