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DFA issues cease and desist regarding unlicensed sports betting

  • Posted Date: 02/15/2024
  • Office: All DFA
  • News:

    February 15, 2024

    Scott Hardin, Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration
    501-352-9351, scott.hardin@dfa.arkansas.gov


    DFA Demands Online Operators Cease Offering Unlicensed Sports Betting

    LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (February 15, 2024) – Today, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) sent cease and desist letters to two Daily Fantasy Sports operators that DFA believes to be offering unlicensed sports betting in violation of Amendment 100 to the Arkansas Constitution. 

    Daily Fantasy Sports operators offer a version of the traditional fantasy football concept, with a consumer creating a team and points being assigned based on performance. The consumer creating the best performing team is rewarded.  In the last year, these operators have offered a product associated with sports betting: “player prop bets.”

    “Back in the day, places that tolerated illegal gambling were referred to as ‘wide open,’” said DFA Regulatory Administrator Trent Minner. “The Internet is today’s equivalent of a ‘wide open town’ where unlicensed gambling thrives outside of the taxation and age-verification requirements required by the law. As the state’s regulator of licensed sports betting, DFA is putting these companies on notice that Arkansas is not ‘wide open.’”

    Traditional Daily Fantasy Sports websites operate legally under the protection of Act 1075 of the 2017 Regular Session. However, Arkansas law does not allow these operators to offer unlicensed sports betting. These unlicensed operators are not required to verify if a participant is 21 years of age and they do not pay the taxes associated with sports betting.

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

    The cease and desist letters were sent via certified mail to Underdog Sports Holdings and SidePrize LLC (PrizePicks).