Pending legislature approval

Michigan regulator proposes new daily fantasy sports rules to ban pick'em contests

Reading time 1:53 min

Michigan's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) has accepted new rules proposed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) which could limit certain types of fantasy sports games in Michigan.

The latest ban covers all forms of over/under proposition wagers on individual athletes where the customer bets against the house, also known as Pick’em contests, offered by companies like PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy, as opposed to traditional daily fantasy sports multiplayer lineup contests offered by DraftKings and FanDuel.

However, it should be noted that Underdog has not operated in Michigan since 2022, when the state created DFS licensing requirements. Only Boom Fantasy, PrizePicks, and RealTime Fantasy Sports offer pick’em contests equated to prop betting by Michigan’s proposed rules.

In its statement, the Coalition for Fantasy Sports said that thousands of local sports fans had requested that the MGCB rules be rejected, with the JCAR receiving over 2,600 emails and 700 phone calls relating to the matter. However, despite this, the JCAR approved the rules by default as it took no action on the matter within a 15-day window once the rules were proposed.

Jim Runestad

Jim Runestad, the State Senator, said: "For weeks we've heard from citizens in our home districts and across the state, demanding that we lead on this issue. Instead, Chairman Haadsma and his fellow JCAR Democrats chose to do nothing. They ignored the voices of Michiganders, bent to the will of big donors and corporate interests, and clearly violated the intent of the original fantasy sports bill as well as the will of the people."

"Moving forward, I pledge to work with the Gaming Commission and other lawmakers to restore access to the legal fantasy sports games that have just been stripped away from Michiganders," he added.

The news from Michigan comes less than 24 hours after New York regulators gave a similarly worded interpretation in response to comments on their proposed rules. It also comes two weeks after the state of Florida sent cease and desist letters to fantasy sports operators PrizePicks, Underdog Fantasy and Betr.

Massachusetts is also taking a look at the issue after Wyoming regulators also sent PrizePicks and Underdog cease and desist letters, accusing each of offering unlicensed sports betting.

Each of those states legalized sports betting after the fall of PASPA. Their tax rates for sports betting operators range from 10% to 51%. Their license fees range from $100,000 to $25 million. Michigan is one of the few states that applies a similar tax rate to both industries.

Michigan’s regulations are still pending and would need approval from the state legislature before they take effect. The legislature previously approved a rule change that created licensing requirements for fantasy operators who had otherwise operated with scant oversight. That led to companies including Underdog and Yahoo! pulling out.

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