Fantasy vs. Betting: The Battle Over Pick’em-Style Games Heats Up
In a recent development that highlights the ongoing tensions between fantasy sports operators and sports betting giants, a dispute has emerged over the classification of pick’em-style games. The dispute centers around whether these games, popularized by fantasy operators like Underdog Fantasy and PrizePicks, fall under the umbrella of traditional fantasy sports or veer into the realm of sports betting. Underdog’s founder has accused industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings of orchestrating efforts to reshape legislation, allegedly in an attempt to eliminate competition and secure their dominance.
The heart of the matter lies in the resemblance between pick’em-style games and prop and parlay betting. As these games involve predicting player performances and outcomes, the distinction between skill-based fantasy gaming and games that resemble sports betting becomes increasingly blurry. While some states like New York, Maryland, and Ohio have questioned the legitimacy of pick’em-style games and even proposed new rules to prevent contests that mimic betting, other states like Colorado have deemed them as genuine fantasy games. This dispute underscores the shifting landscape of gaming regulations and the challenges of drawing clear lines between distinct forms of entertainment in an evolving industry.