DraftKings’ Pick6 game is now available in 16 states and the District of Columbia after launching in six states in December.
Since Pick6 launched, it has found a spot in nearly one-third of the country because it combines elements of sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Pick6 offers contests with guaranteed prize pools where you build a lineup (“pick set”) of two to six players for which you make over-under bets.
The entry fee is $1 per lineup. After the games are over, DraftKings runs the numbers and the pick sets with the most correct bets are the winners, according to DraftKings. All winners share in the prize pool. So, if there are 10 winners in a $10,000 Pick6 contest, each winner gets $1,000.
The over-under aspect of the contest is like sports betting. However, the fact that you have to pick at least two players is not considered sports betting in some states.
For example, in Florida, legislators are pushing for a bill noting that platforms offering single-player or single-contest bets are considered sports betting. Pick6 requires players to include at least two player performances in their “bet.”
Additionally, Pick6 departs from traditional sports betting because payouts are based on the prize pools instead of a pre-determined payout from the sportsbook. In that sense, Pick6 resembles daily fantasy sports guaranteed prize pool contests.
This has allowed DraftKings to launch in states where sports betting is illegal, including California, Georgia, Minnesota and Missouri.
What is the future for games like Pick6?
DraftKings’ Pick6 contests may have a shelf life. In states where sports betting is legal, there is a movement among lawmakers and sportsbooks to ban any fantasy or DFS contests that resemble sports betting (e.g. contests based on player props).
Maryland axed Pick6 at the end of December for this very reason, PlayMaryland noted. So, it’s possible we could see similar action in states where Pick6 is live and sports betting is legal:
- New Mexico
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
As for states where sports betting is illegal, it’s hard to say what will happen to Pick6. On the one hand, lawmakers may see Pick6 as a way to appease the pro-sports-betting crowd while keeping legalized sports betting out.
On the other hand, the movement among states with legal sports wagering to end fantasy and DFS contests that incorporate elements of sports betting could bleed into states where sports betting is illegal. We could see states like California pass clarifying bills that end Pick6 and similar contests.