Last month, Prize Picks was shut out of Michigan because of new rules that banned DFS apps from offering sports-betting style contests.
This month, PrizePicks is back without the betting. The emerging daily fantasy sports (DFS) company announced it launched a free-to-play DFS platform in Michigan, a move that seems to be a direct response to the regulatory hurdles Michigan‘s sports betting bosses enacted last month.
“We’re thrilled to launch our newest offering on PrizePicks, a fun free-to-play game,” VP of innovation Brian Huss said in a PrizePicks press release. “This new free-to-play format is the first of new game types to come and opens the door for us to reach sports fans who may not already be familiar with PrizePicks.”
How Daily Fantasy Sports changed over the years
The DFS industry has exploded over the past few years. And with that growth, traditional DFS has changed.
DFS started as a one-week fantasy football (and sometimes season-long) contest with an entry fee. You pay an entry fee, pick your lineup, and win money if you are among the top scorers in the contest.
However, as sports betting grew, DFS platforms leveraged regulatory loopholes to offer player props and pick ’em contests. Sports betting operators didn’t like the competition coming from DFS, so they lobbied lawmakers to clarify sports betting rules.
As a result, Michigan and New York have banned any DFS bets that resemble sports betting.
PrizePicks still plying loopholes to offer cash prizes
In theory, the new DFS rules in Michigan would limit DFS contests to the traditional formats: pay an entry fee, pick a lineup, and win a prize if you finish in the money.
However, PrizePicks has managed to still offer sports betting, albeit free sports betting. Here’s how the new app works:
- Sign up for an account.
- Earn 1,000 credits every day.
- Use those credits to place prop-style over-under bets on two to six players.
- Add a multiplier to one player in their pick.
- Pick how many free credits you want to bet.
- Submit the entry
The more player picks the user makes, the higher the credits payout if all picks hit. At the end of the day, the users with the top 100 points totals win cash prizes.
First place wins $250, second place wins $250, and third place wins $100. Fourth through 100th win prizes ranging from $60 to $2.
PrizePicks has essentially found a new way to offer sports betting under the guise of DFS. While no real money is required to make a bet, players still get the prop-style over-under they had before DFS sports betting was banned.