In a landmark decision, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) has imposed a ban on pick’em-style daily fantasy sports (DFS) games. This move comes despite fervent appeals from companies like Underdog Fantasy and PrizePicks, known for popularizing this style of gaming.
NYSGC’s Stance on DFS
The journey of DFS in New York has seen its ebbs and flows. Initially legalized by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2016, DFS underwent legal scrutiny but managed to stay afloat following the 2022 verdict in the White v. Cuomo case. This case not only cleared the path for DFS but stipulated that only those businesses operating before 10th November 2015 could offer fantasy sports under a temporary license. This regulation was set to change once final regulations were established, potentially allowing new companies to join the market.
The Flourishing World of Prop Bets
However, while prop-style DFS games face prohibition, prop bets themselves remain alive and well in legal online sportsbooks across New York. For those unfamiliar, prop bets (or proposition bets) involve wagering on specific occurrences within a sports event, rather than the end result. Examples of prop bets include betting on which team will score first, how many touchdowns a particular player will score, or the number of three-pointers made in a basketball game.
Tensions Between DFS Giants and New Entrants
Big players in the DFS arena, FanDuel and DraftKings, who dominate the lion’s share of gaming revenue, have historically opposed these prop-style games. Their resistance comes at a time when newer entrants like Underdog and PrizePicks are trying to carve a niche for themselves.
Interestingly, this dispute is not unique to New York. Similar confrontations are unfolding across the nation, signaling a bigger debate on the nature and boundaries of DFS.
Whether this move by the NYSGC sets a precedent for other states remains to be seen. But for now, in New York at least, prop-style DFS finds no favor, even as prop bets continue to thrive in the legal sportsbook arena.