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Massachusetts Attorney General Halts DFS Pick ‘Ems

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office is slamming the brakes on daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators who offer parlay-style pick ’ems to their customers. Earlier this week the AG sent out cease and desist orders to ten Massachusetts-facing DFS operators ordering them stop offering the controversial product to their customer ASAP. It’s the latest blow to DFS operators who skirt the line between fantasy sports betting and actual, regulated sports betting.

All of the operators that received the cease-and-desist letter are licensed by the State, but in Massachusetts it is the Attorney General’s office that oversees DFS operators. That letter went out to Boom Fantasy, OwnersBox, Parlay Play, Real Time, Fantasy Sports, Sleeper, Splash Sports, Talid Sports dba Chalkboard Fantasy Sports, Two Nine Sports dba StatHero, Vivid Picks, and Yahoo! Daily Fantasy Sports.

In the letter, the AG’s office flatly states, “This type of wager is a parlay. The Gaming Labs International Standards for Event Wagering Systems, GLI-33, which is incorporated by reference into the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s regulations for Sports Wagering Equipment, 205 Code Mass. Regs. 243, define a parlay as ‘[a] single wager that links together two or more individual wagers and is dependent on all of those wagers winning together.’ Such parlays are expressly included in the definition of ‘sports wagering’ set forth in G.L. c. 23N, § 3. Because ‘pick’em’ games are sports wagering, they are not ‘fantasy contests’ as that term is defined in G.L. c. 12, § 11M1/2,” according to a report on SBC Americas.

This is extremely bad news for DFS operators across the country who are attempting to offer products that deliberately cross the line between standard DFS and traditional sports betting.