New York became the latest state to make changes to its fantasy sports regulations. On Tuesday, the state’s Gaming Commission voted unanimously to approve the new rules, one of which bans contests that either are or “have the effect of mimicking proposition betting.”
The new rules, which were first proposed in July and amended in August, state fantasy operators cannot offer contests where entrants select individual athletes or a team to “surpass an identified statistical achievement.” The rules also bar contests "based on discrete occurrences or statistics within a sports event unrelated to rosters of athletes selected by contestants.”
Those rules would target contests offered by PrizePicks, Underdog and other fantasy sports operators. In recent weeks, states like Florida and Wyoming have sent letters to operators requesting them to stop offering their games in their states. Michigan gaming regulators are also pursuing similar rule changes. NY sports betting went live in January 2022.
Commission Hears from Fantasy Operators, Players
After posting the rules changes, the New York State Gaming Commission received letters from the Coalition for Fantasy Sports (CFS), Mojo Interactive and Vivid Seats with concerns about the changes. The commission also received 1,462 form letters it noted were solicited by PrizePicks.
According to a memo in the commission’s meeting book, CFS said its member operators want to offer “pick ’em” contests. “Pick ’em” games are single-player fantasy contests where entrants select two or more athletes and decide whether they will exceed or fail to hit a selected statistical benchmark in a game. Similar to parlay bets offered by New York betting apps, “pick ’em” operators offer cash prizes for entrants who correctly pick how all of their athletes perform. Some operators allow fantasy entrants to play a game where they can miss a selection and still win a reduced prize.
The coalition added such fantasy games spur innovation and are in line with lawmakers’ intentions when they passed a law to legalize fantasy sports in the state. CFS, per the commission, argued its members’ games are considered games of skill rather than gambling.
FanDuel also sent a letter citing concerns about other changes to the rules, including a regulation requiring the commission to sign off on contests before they can be offered in New York. In its meeting book, the commission noted it had previously rejected proposed changes by FanDuel, which also operates FanDuel NY Sportsbook in the state.
PrizePicks, Underdog Will Work With Regulators
Operators that stand to be affected, at least in part, by the new fantasy sports rules in New York did not criticize the NYSGC in comments to EmpireStakes.com after Tuesday’s vote.
“We will continue to work with the gaming commission to ensure we operate under the finalized fantasy sports rules,” an Underdog spokesperson said.
“We are meeting regularly with the NYSGC to discuss the future of fantasy sports in New York,” a PrizePicks spokeswoman said. “We are grateful for the advocacy efforts of our many members in the state and will work with policymakers to ensure that they can continue to play the fantasy sports they know and love.”
After Alabama revised its fantasy rules regarding single-player props, fantasy operators adjusted its contests to residents in the state by pairing athletes for proposition offerings. EmpireStakes.com will keep you abreast of the latest gaming news happening in New York. We’re also your source for the best NY sportsbook promos.