Florida Gaming Commission Requests Three Fantasy Sports Betting Operators to Stop Operations

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Florida Gaming Control Commission requested that three daily fantasy sports operators shut down their operations in the state. The Commission’s cease-and-desist letter was reportedly sent to Underdog Sports, PrizePicks, and Betr  for their alleged involvement in illegal sports wagering activities. As reported, the regulator’s allegations notably excluded major operators like FanDuel and DraftKings, but seem  likely to affect the paid fantasy sports market and the future of the fantasy sports wagering industry in the Sunshine State.

Failure to Comply Triggers Prosecution:

The Capitol reports that Louis Trombetta, the Executive Director of the Florida Gaming Control Commission, notified the three companies about the regulator’s demand.  “I am hereby demanding you immediately cease and desist offering or accepting bets or wagers from residents of this state on the results of any contests of skill such as sports betting,” he reportedly stated and added that any failure to comply with the Commission’s demand may be referred to the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

Impact on The State’s Fantasy Sports Betting Market:

In any case, legal representatives of the operators reportedly said they would get down to immediately work with the Commission to provide a continued access to fantasy sports games to customers in Florida. But there are reports that the letter’s referral to legal actions may be interpreted as applicable to all forms of paid fantasy sports content, which would extensively affect many companies now that the NFL season has been gaining momentum. As reported by the Capitol, such an impact might be felt until the end of the football season.

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Regulator’s Zero Tolerance:

The reason for the Commission’s move reportedly seems grounded in the regulator’s zero-tolerance toward fantasy sports betting and the recognition of the gaming compacts as the only form of sports wagering allowed in the state. Florida and the Seminole Tribe signed a gaming compact in 2021 and Trombetta’s letter explicitly referred to the respective state law to request the three operators to cease-and-desist their fantasy sports betting operations.

Operator’s Claims:

Jeremy Levine, Founder of Underdog Sports, reportedly agreed with the allegations and indicated that the company’s products are to be classified as the games based on skill, and not chance, which should meet the respective legal frame. According to the source, Levine said that the measure is “directly fueled” by DraftKings and FanDuel and noted that these operators have not received the regulator’s written warning.

Vague Prospects:

At the same time, other fantasy sports wagering operators in the market are reportedly worried about the future of their operations in Florida after the regulator explicitly indicated gaming compacts as the only acceptable form of legal sports wagering.  These concerns have been raised after the requested shut down of the three reputable operators, such as Betr, run by celebrity boxer Jake Paul. Also, the alleged template Seminole Tribe’s gaming compact being still at court makes these concerns even more justified.

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