PrizePicks Fined $15M For Offering NY Daily Fantasy Sports Illegally

Written By Grant Lucas on February 21, 2024
Phone with PrizePicks logo for a story on New York issuing $15 million fine for illegal daily fantasy sports operations

State gaming regulators in New York have cracked down hard on a daily fantasy sports platform.

As first reported by ESPN and according to a stipulation of settlement document, the New York State Gaming Commission fined PrizePicks some $15 million for offering daily fantasy sports in NY without a license.

According to the document, PrizePicks violated state law for several years. And the fine stemmed from “revenue PrizePicks generated” via DFS contests from June 2019 through December 2023.

PrizePicks operated illegally in New York since 2019

As detailed in the settlement agreement, PrizePicks offered daily fantasy sports in New York beginning in June 2019. However, the company “has not been, and is not, authorized” to do so.

For its part, PrizePicks noted that it operated in the Empire State “in a good-faith belief that it had the ability to do so.”

In a statement, the NYSGC simply stated that the settlement speaks for itself.”

While it represents a substantial and highly punitive fine, though, PrizePicks could still obtain a DFS license. In fact, as reported by ESPN, a spokesperson for PrizePicks indicated that the company will indeed pursue a license.

The spokesperson added:

“Our team is pleased to have reached a resolution with the Gaming Commission and we look forward to continuing our work with the State to modernize New York’s daily fantasy sports laws. As safer, skill-based DFS contests like ours rise in popularity, we will work constructively with policymakers on thoughtful legislation that allows New Yorkers to play the contests they love, ensure strong consumer safeguards, and generates tax revenue for the state.”

New fantasy sports regulations taking toll on New York operators

Recall in October when the NYSGC ruled that any DFS contests offered in the state “shall not be based on proposition betting or contests that have the effect of mimicking proposition betting.”

Essentially, if a daily fantasy sports contest even closely resembled sports betting in New York, they would be prohibited.

Proving that regulators are serious about the matter, the NYSGC dropped the hammer on PrizePicks, which offers real-money contests in 30 states and Washington DC but ceased operations in New York just after the Super Bowl.

Other pick’em platforms have pulled out of New York since the state adopted the new regulations, including Sleeper and Thrive Fantasy. Currently, though, Underdog Fantasy still operates in the Empire State under a temporary licenses as it pursues a permanent one.

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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