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Michigan Bans Pick’em DFS
On October 11, new rules went into effect in Michigan that ban pick'em-style games previously offered by daily fantasy sports sites, such as PrizePicks, Underdog, Boom and other DFS Michigan betting apps. The latest controversy involving prop-style wagering is even more prominent in states that don’t offer online sports betting, like Florida, which recently sent cease-and-desist letters to several DFS providers that offer pick’em-style games.
Supporters of the new restriction and the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) claim that these types of bets are too similar to proposition bets offered by licensed online sportsbooks. Michigan joins New York and Florida, which both sought to eliminate pick’em-style DFS games from the market.
What is Pick’em DFS?
Traditional DFS is when users pick a roster of players ranked by their fantasy sports point production. To make gameplay more competitive, the contests were limited to games with a salary cap, which users’ rosters can’t exceed. Pick’em style contests offer a game format similar to prop betting, which predicts player statistics. There’s also no need for users to worry about a salary cap.
DFS pick’em providers allow users to select whether a player will perform higher or lower than the posted statistical category in a game. The most significant difference between DFS pick’em and sports betting odds is that when betting with a sportsbook, the odds will change if one side of a player prop receives more action than the other. With DFS pick’em, the odds remain the same even if user picks are heavier on one side.
Why Did Michigan Ban Pick’em DFS?
The MGCB put forward the proposal to ban DFS pick’em games in August. Under the current Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Rules, fantasy operators cannot offer games that “have the effect of mimicking betting on sports, or that involve ‘prop bets’ or the effect of mimicking proposition selection.” Pick’em-style contests involve users betting against the house while making over/under predictions on various statistical results, similar to proposition bets.
The Coalition for Fantasy Sports condemned the new rules, saying they received over 2,600 emails and 700 phone calls protesting the ban. The group says they will continue working with lawmakers and regulators to provide DFS players with their preferred products.
Other Michigan Betting Options
Michigan sports betting laws in the US are among the friendliest. The state has three retail sportsbooks at all three commercial casinos and has dozens of tribal casinos that also offer sports betting. There are currently 15 live betting apps in Michigan, which is the maximum number of licenses permitted.
The first legal Michigan online casinos launched in January 2021, and there are now 16 online providers licensed to operate, the most recent being Sports Illustrated Casino, which launched in 2023.
Nearly a dozen horse racing tracks have come and gone since the sport was established in Michigan in 1933. However, the only horse racing track currently operating in the state is Northville Downs, where bettors can enjoy in-person wagering. Michigan residents can also bet on horse racing at any of the various legal online racebooks available.