The Florida Gaming Control Commission sent letters to three daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators accusing them of offering or accepting potentially illegal online sports betting.
Florida gambling regulators sent cease-and-desist letters to the companies, threatening legal action if the sites didn’t stop accepting illegal bets.
Online sports betting in Florida remains in a state of uncertainty, while state laws are vague in addressing the legality of DFS apps and as the West Flagler legal case versus the Seminole Tribe goes on.
The current law in the Sunshine State only allows land-based casinos, pari-mutuel bets, horse racing and the state lottery.
Florida regulators target PrizePicks, Underdog Fantasy and Betr
According to letters, the Florida Gaming Control Commission’s executive director made the requests to:
- Underdog Sports, LLC, based in Brooklyn, New York
- SidePrize LLC, also known as Performance Predictions LLC, doing business as PrizePicks, based in Atlanta, Georgia
- Betr Holdings, Inc., based in Miami, Florida
The three betting companies offer so-called “parlay-prop-style” games that could be more like sports betting games that are banned in Florida.
As noted in a post by Legal Sports Report, Florida Gaming Control Commission Executive Director Louis Trombetta wrote: “This alleged conduct is strictly prohibited in Florida and constitutes criminal activity.”
Trombetta continued: “Accordingly, as Executive Director of the Florida Gaming Control Commission, 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, including, but not limited to, bets or wagers made in connection with fantasy sports.”
The Florida Gaming Commission did not send letters to DraftKings and FanDuel, which have also dominated the fantasy sports market.
Underdog responds to Florida regulator
Jeremy Levine, CEO and co-founder of Underdog Fantasy, responded to the Florida Gaming Control Commission’s letter via X:
By sharing communication with the Commission, Levine confirmed that the letters do not relate to the Pick ’em style fantasy game. He wrote: “We strongly disagree with their assessment.
We will continue operating our fantasy contests in Florida as we engage with the Commission and elected officials.”
John Lockwood, a Florida attorney representing Underdog and other DFS companies in the state said: “We disagree on the merits, and will be working with the commission and potentially the legislature so we can ensure Florida sports fans can continue to play.”