In an unprecedented move, the fantasy sports operators, PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy, have been ordered to cease operations in Wyoming. The move comes amidst growing concerns over the companies’ alleged breach of state laws regarding sports betting.

Wyoming’s Gambling Laws Under Spotlight

Both companies came under scrutiny due to an ongoing interpretation of Wyoming’s gambling laws. The Wyoming Gaming Commission (WGC) has asserted that the companies’ services equate to sports wagering, an activity currently considered illegal in the state.

The WGC believes that daily fantasy sports (DFS), as offered by PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy, should be considered illegal sports betting. DFS have historically been a gray area in American gambling law due to their blend of skill and chance elements, and their status varies from state to state.

Pushback from the Companies

Both companies, however, have strongly disagreed with this interpretation of their offerings. They assert that their products are games of skill, not chance, and hence do not fall under the traditional definition of gambling. They argue that their offerings are distinct from betting on the outcomes of sports matches, as they involve picking individual player performances.

Despite their objections, the WGC has remained adamant, and the cease and desist orders remain in effect. This means the two companies cannot currently operate or accept new customers from Wyoming.

Future of DFS in Wyoming

While this incident has certainly caused a ripple in the DFS industry, it is not yet clear what the long-term impact will be on DFS in Wyoming or elsewhere in the US. Experts predict that it could lead to tighter regulations, with states taking a more careful approach to the classification and regulation of DFS.

In the meantime, PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy are believed to be exploring legal avenues to contest the WGC’s decision and resume their operations in Wyoming.

Implications for the DFS Industry

The cease and desist orders against PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy could have broad implications for the DFS industry as a whole. The sector has thrived in recent years, offering fans a new way to engage with sports. However, this incident could act as a catalyst for change, potentially encouraging other states to reassess their regulations and definitions concerning DFS.

While DFS operators might view the situation as unfavorable, it could also lead to clearer guidelines and a more stable legal environment for the industry in the long run.

User Reactions and Next Steps

The response from users of PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy has been mixed. Some users expressed disappointment at not being able to participate in DFS within Wyoming, while others have expressed support for stricter regulations to ensure fair play.

Meanwhile, DFS enthusiasts from other states are keenly watching developments, hoping for a swift resolution that won’t impact their ability to enjoy these platforms. The hope is that this issue will pave the way for a clear, fair, and consistent legal framework for DFS across all states.

As it stands, the future of DFS in Wyoming is uncertain, but this event has certainly brought the conversation around the legal status of DFS and online gambling into sharp focus.

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