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DraftKings Follows Maryland Regulatory Mandate and Removes Pick6 From Fantasy Menu

Signage Draftkings Sportsbook Ribbon Cutting Seabrook New Hampshire
Signage at the DraftKings Sportsbook at The Brook ribbon cutting. Scott Eisen/Getty Images for DraftKings/AFP.

DraftKings launched its new Pick6 DFS product a little over a month ago, but after a Maryland order forbidding the prop/parlay-style offerings, DraftKings has subsequently pulled it from its menu.

Pick6 Pulled

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency threw a flag on DraftKings’ new Pick6 addition to its DFS menu shortly after the Boston-based gaming company launched its new product in six states. The regulatory body stated that it violated its daily fantasy sports regulations to which DraftKings was quick to comply and notified its Maryland betting customers it would no longer be available as of December 21st.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming spokesperson Seth Elkin said: “Maryland’s sports wagering law has a broad definition of wager types that are considered sports wagering as opposed to daily fantasy sports. As a result, there are competitions that may be permitted under the DFS laws and regulations in other jurisdictions but aren’t permitted here.

“The sports wagering definition in our law includes single-game bets; teaser bets; parlays; over-unders; moneylines; pools; exchange wagering; in-game wagering; in-play bets; proposition bets; and straight bets. If a competition has any of these components, it’s defined in Maryland as sports wagering and is not permitted as a DFS offering. It can only be made available by a licensed online sports wagering platform or facility.”

What’s the Problem?

PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy also pulled their parlay-style games from their respective Maryland DFS menus. Several states have either banned the games or are considering doing so in those DFS apps that operate within their boundaries.

The issue concerns the nature of the bet, as it is more akin to a sports betting prop bet parlay than it is to a tournament-style fantasy sports game where the player competes with other players and not the house.

It is an attractive option in those states that have legalized DFS but not sports betting, as it resembles a parlay in which a bettor can include several over/under bets on individual players – much like prop bets – under the umbrella of a single bet which renders greater odds.

Plenty of Detractors

Florida, New York, Michigan, and Maine are all states that are actively pursuing legal action against any DFS operator offering these prop-style parlay betting options.

Louis Trobetta, Florida Gaming Control Commission Executive Director, addressed the issue with the following written statement, “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. Accordingly, in Florida, sports betting may be lawfully conducted only pursuant to a gaming compact. Further, receiving such illegal bets and wagers and aiding or abetting such criminal activities constitute separate felony offenses.”

Even the American Gaming Association (AGA) is in favor of removing these offerings from the realm of daily fantasy sports and keeping them where they belong, on a sports betting menu.

Chris Cylke, AGA Senior Vice President of Government Relations, said, “States have purposefully created distinct licensing and regulatory obligations for sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Legal sports betting operators spend significant resources to secure and maintain a gaming license. When some fantasy operators attempt to blur the lines and offer sports betting products, they undermine marketplace integrity, consumer protections, and tax revenue. So, we are encouraged to see regulators across the country taking action to clarify and enforce the rules, ensuring that fantasy operators are only offering products they are authorized to offer.”

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