Less than a month after its launch in Maryland, DraftKings’ Pick6 product has been withdrawn from the market. The fantasy game, which launched in early December in six US jurisdictions, including Maryland, faced objections from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. The state’s regulatory body concluded that Pick6 violated state regulations and ordered its withdrawal.
DraftKings notified DFS players in Maryland that Pick6 would no longer be available as of December 21. The game, similar to the DFS pick’em offerings of PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy, allows users to choose between two to six props to compete in a traditional DFS site format. Both PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy had previously withdrawn their pick’em games from the Maryland market.
Maryland Lottery and Gaming spokesperson Seth Elkin said: “Maryland’s sports wagering law has a broad definition of wager types that are considered sports wagering as opposed to daily fantasy sports. As a result, there are competitions that may be permitted under the DFS laws and regulations in other jurisdictions, but aren’t permitted here.
“The sports wagering definition in our law includes single-game bets; teaser bets; parlays; over-unders; moneylines; pools; exchange wagering; in-game wagering; in-play bets; proposition bets; and straight bets. If a competition has any of these components, it’s defined in Maryland as sports wagering and is not permitted as a DFS offering. It can only be made available by a licensed online sports wagering platform or facility.”
Maryland joins other states that have rejected or questioned the legality of pick ’em-style fantasy games. Several state regulators have recently banned these games, issued warning letters to operators, or are reviewing their legality. California, where the Pick6 game is still available, could reassess its stance on fantasy sports, with Senator Scott Wilk having requested an opinion from the state’s attorney general.
Despite the withdrawal of Pick6 in Maryland, DraftKings continues to operate online and retail sports betting in the state. The fantasy game remains available in other states, as highlighted by DraftKings’ Director of Peer-to-Peer Games, Jon Aguiar, in a series of Twitter posts. The game is currently available in Alaska, California, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington DC, West Virginia and Wisconsin.