Three daily fantasy sports operators received cease-and-desist letters in Florida.
The companies are accused of offering illegal bets and promoting an illegal lottery.
Florida is cracking down on season-long fantasy contests in addition to the controversial prop-betting offered by the daily fantasy operators.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Gaming Control Commission sent cease-and-desist letters to PrizePicks, Underdog Fantasy, and Betr for “offering or accepting illegal bets or wagers from Florida residents.”
The letters claim legal action will be taken if the operators don’t immediately stop. Louis Trombetta, Executive Director of the Florida Gaming Control Commission, sent letters to the three daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators on Tuesday.
Trombetta claims that under Florida law, “betting or wagering on the result of contests of skill, such as sports betting, including fantasy sports betting, is strictly prohibited and constitutes a felony offense unless such activity is otherwise exempted by statute.”
Recent debate towards DFS operators like PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy focuses on their parlay-style prop bets that resemble legal sports betting but fall under fantasy contests. The Florida Gaming Commission takes it a step further in their letters and issued the immediate stoppage of all paid fantasy sports contests.
Underdog Questions Language In Letter
Underdog Founder and Co-CEO Jeremy Levine posted conversations between Underdog’s general counsel Nicholas Green and Ross Marshman, the general counsel of the commission.
We received a letter from the Florida Gaming Commission alleging that our contests violate FL law. They are saying that all paid fantasy violates FL law in their view, including our season-long, daily drafts, and Pick’em games. Here’s the correspondence. pic.twitter.com/KwK37QQy92
— Jeremy Levine (@JerLevine) September 22, 2023
Green asked Marshman “Underdog operates multiple paid fantasy formats (season-long drafts, daily drafts, pick’em) and I just want to confirm my reading of the letter, which is that the legal conclusion applies to all paid fantasy contest,” which Ross Marshman confirmed as correct.
This language would also apply to fantasy contests held by DraftKings and FanDuel, but neither corporate giant received a letter.
The surprising cease-and desist letters were sent in the middle of an ongoing legal battle over the ability to bet on sports in FL between the Seminole Tribe and West Flagler Associates. West Flagler is actively challenging the decision to reinstate a 2021 gaming compact between the Seminole Tribe and state of Florida that would allow online sports betting in FL.
The cease-and-desist letters sent to the three DFS operators include identical language that requires them to stop hosting contests in Florida. Levine says that Underdog will continue operating their fantasy contests in Florida while they engage with commission officials.
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News tags: Betr | Daily Fantasy Sports | DFS | DraftKings | Florida | Florida Gaming Control Commission | PrizePicks | Underdog
Zach graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Writing, Editing, and Media. Zach is interested in the legalization aspect of sports betting and enjoys participating in DFS. He has a passion for sports writing and most enjoys writing about football and baseball both professional and collegiate.