FGCC starts a war
The Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC) has declared war on three daily fantasy sport (DFS) brands operating in the state by sending them cease and desist letters. According to Florida Politics, the FGCC sent its letters to Underdog Fantasy, PrizePicks, and Betr.
CEO of Underdog Jeremy Levine shared via X correspondence from his attorney confirming the FGCC’s stance that all his firm’s DFS and pick’em games were illegal:
Florida Politics cited identical letters signed off on by FGCC Executive Director Louis Trombetta warning Underdog, PrizePicks, and Jake Paul’s Betr that their operations have crossed the line into sports betting.
Trombetta stated the FGCC received information that the companies may: “be offering or accepting illegal bets or wagers from Florida residents […] promoting and conducting an illegal lottery.” The letter added the alleged illegal conduct was “strictly prohibited in Florida and constitutes criminal activity.”
Underdog, PrizePicks fight back
The FGCC’s cease-and-desist order wants Betr and the others to stop accepting all bets or wagers, promoting or conducting illicit lotteries in Florida right away. Trombetta’s message also came with the threat of referring the non-compliant firms to the Attorney General for state prosecution.
Despite this, Levine is defiant. Via X, the CEO said Underdog would “continue operating our fantasy contests in Florida as we engage with the Commission and elected officials.” According to Saturday Down South, PrizePicks also intends continuing its Florida operations. A spokesperson for the Georgia firm took a thinly veiled dig at FanDuel and DraftKings, as it appears neither of the two have received FGCC letters despite their DFS offerings.
PrizePicks alleges is a “smear campaign”
The PrizePicks spokesperson said its “larger competitors” have deliberately spread misinformation to US regulators. The result of what PrizePicks alleges is a “smear campaign” the DFS firm argued, has “driven inaccurate understandings of our contests and the laws governing them.”
The spokesperson added that PrizePicks was eager to meet Trombetta “to discuss our business and our skill-based gaming platform.”
Florida’s legal chaos
Many industry experts have weighed-in on the DFS cease-and-desist case via X, with mobile gambling analyst Steve Brubaker calling the motivation behind it one of “greed.”
“I doubt there is a more greedy bunch than gambling companies […] The hypocrisy of DK/FD attacking Underdog and PrizePicks for working gray is unreal.”
the epicenter of legal chaos in the gaming industry”
Gaming law and sports betting attorney Daniel Wallach dubbed Florida “the epicenter of legal chaos in the gaming industry,” due to multiple sports betting and DFS litigations in the state. He likened the DFS case as an undercard bout to the main event, West Flagler versus the Seminole Tribe, which is heading to the Supreme Court despite an earlier Court of Appeals ruling that could have led to the tribe’s Hard Rock Bet going live in Florida by now.