Published: February 15, 2024

Arkansas sends cease & desist letters to two fantasy football sites, claiming illegal sports betting

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Department of Finance and Administration sent cease and desist letters to two companies it believes are offering unlicensed sports betting in Arkansas.

The DFA said the two companies were operating as daily fantasy sports organizations, explaining that Underdog Sports Holding and SidePrize LLC dba PrizePicks operate a type of fantasy football where consumers create a team and earn points based on the fantasy team’s performance.

Fantasy sports are legal to play in Arkansas. A DFA spokesperson explained that traditional fantasy sports websites operate legally under Act 1075 of 2017, which states fantasy sports are not gambling.

The problem, DFA said, is that the two operators created a sports-betting-like product in the past year called player prop bets. This type of betting is sports betting and being unlicensed is in violation of Arkansas law, officials said.

Along with the player prop bets being a violation, the sites are not verifying the ages of players or paying state taxes on the revenue generated, which is a second and third violation of Arkansas sports betting laws, a spokesperson said.

“Arkansas law requires sports bets to be placed with a licensed sportsbook that is required to verify the age of the consumer,” DFA Secretary Jim Hudson said. “The state has an interest in protecting Arkansas children from operators seeking to exploit underage Arkansans.”

DFA Regulatory Administrator Trent Minner said the letters put the companies on notice that Arkansas will not tolerate illegal gambling.

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