Sports game giants DraftKings and FanDuel continued to hold fantasy contests Thursday in Connecticut, while smaller competitors chose to shut down operations under a new state law that requires cash operators real are approved.
DraftKings and FanDuel, through their established partnerships with the state’s tribal game operators, have secured provisional licenses, allowing their fantasy contests to remain live in Connecticut for the time being. DraftKings and FanDuel paid the state $ 832,383.45 and $ 325,914.91, respectively, for their past operations in Connecticut, according to a statement from Governor Ned Lamont on Thursday.
“This short-term milestone allows for the continuation of fantastic sports in Connecticut as we continue to move forward to modernize our play landscape in Connecticut,” Lamont said in the statement.
The same new law that requires licenses for operators also allows the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, the Mohegan Tribe and the Connecticut State Lottery to offer traditional sports betting, both retail and online. The law came into force on Thursday. DraftKings has signed on as a sports betting provider for the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, which owns the Foxwoods casino complex. FanDuel will be the sportsbook provider for the Mohegan Tribe, which owns the Mohegan Sun casino complex.
Provisional licenses expire on September 30, and it is unclear whether the permanent licensing process can be completed within three months of the deadline, which is at the heart of the lucrative football season. DraftKings and FanDuel declined to comment on Thursday night
While their biggest competitors continued to offer contests, fantasy sports apps and websites PrizePicks, Underdog Fantasy, Yahoo Fantasy Sports and Monkey Knight Fight went out of business in Connecticut on Thursday night.
PrizePicks on Thursday informed Connecticut customers that it would shut down operations in the state, saying in an email that “the decision was beyond our control.”
“I saw articles today that said FanDuel and DraftKings were going to stay up and running, and that was news to me,” Adam Wexler, founder and CEO of PrizePicks, told ESPN. “We hope to be back in Connecticut as soon as possible.”
In a company statement, a spokesperson for Underdog Fantasy apologized to its Connecticut customers and said that “company policies and agendas have stood in the way of what’s best.” for the consumer.
In May, a similar problem arose in Florida, where lawmakers introduced bills to regulate the premium paid fantasy sports industry. The bills have finally stalled and likely won’t be reviewed this year, according to the Miami Herald.