DraftKings, PrizePicks Lead Way in Mass. Fantasy

DraftKings, PrizePicks Lead Way in Mass. Fantasy
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Data from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission shows two companies that address fantasy sports very differently are the clear leaders in the sector.

Just like its market share among the best Massachusetts sportsbooks, DraftKings reigns supreme for daily fantasy in its home state. In June, the Boston-based gaming company took nearly $5.4 million in fantasy entry fees, according to data released Tuesday by the commission. That’s 51.5% of the $10.4 million entry fees the 15 registered operators collected during the month. It’s also a slightly higher share than its online sports betting handle in Massachusetts.

While FanDuel is the No. 2 operator in sports betting, it’s a distant third in fantasy with about $1.1 million in entry fees or 10.1% of the market. Although FanDuel may have the edge in other states, DraftKings Massachusetts continues to reach its hometown audience effectively. 

The No. 2 DFS operator in Massachusetts is PrizePicks, a Georgia-based company that offers DFS games in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

PrizePicks claimed slightly less than $3 million in entry fees in June for a 28.4% market share, but it’s far closer to DraftKings in adjusted revenues.

PrizePicks reported $488,442.72 in revenue, compared to $558,823.34 for DraftKings.

Combined adjusted gross receipts, defined as the total receipts minus all money paid out to participants, for all 15 operators was $1.3 million. This does not include all the sportsbook promos Massachusetts bettors claimed.

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Fantasy Sports or Sports Betting?

The data comes at a time when some states are looking further into the contests fantasy operators offer and whether those contests are really just sports betting. For example, the FanDuel Massachusetts promo code is available to users of the sportsbook, but the fantasy sports app is a completely different product..

Last week, Commission Interim Executive Director Todd Grossman told commissioners his office is aware of discussions across the country regarding whether some fantasy games crossover into sports betting.

“It’s certainly an issue that the commission may need to address directly itself,” he said.

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Differences Between DraftKings and PrizePicks

While DraftKings and FanDuel offer fantasy games based on contests against other fantasy players, PrizePicks offers what it calls “single-player” fantasy sports. In those contests, a player fills out an entry form by picking athletes and choosing whether they will go over or under a projected outcome for a statistic. Players must choose between two to six athletes for their entry. The selections cannot be from only one team, and entries can include athletes from multiple sports.

The format is very similar to parlays offered by sportsbooks, but PrizePicks players can opt to enter a contest allowing for selections to miss. The payouts in those contests are smaller compared to those where only perfect entries are paid out.

As a result, Massachusetts Gaming Commission data shows PrizePicks’ percentage of revenue generated from entries - what sportsbooks call their hold - is far higher than DraftKings.

Daily fantasy sports have been legal in Massachusetts for seven years, but the commission has only collected and reported operator data for a year. Tuesday was the first time the commission released a “stylized” graphic, MGC Communications Division Chief Thomas Mills told BetMassachusetts.com Wednesday.

Dating back to August 2022, PrizePicks has reported adjusted revenues of $10.2 million, compared to DraftKings’ $11.2 million. That’s despite DraftKings’ $104.9 million in entries, nearly doubling PrizePicks’ $53.6 million.

Nearly $194 million worth of entries have been submitted in fantasy contests in Massachusetts, according to the MGC. All operators have reported adjusted gross receipts of $28.2 million since then.

PrizePicks Revenue Rivals Sports Betting Operators

Massachusetts sports betting apps began in March. Since then, mobile betting has generated far more traffic than daily fantasy. Sports betting apps reported a handle of $1.88 billion from March to June, while fantasy operators took just $54.6 million in entries.

PrizePicks over that timeframe took $19.4 million in entries. That’s about 3.5 times less than the $69.3 million WynnBet reported in sports betting handle from March to June. However, Wynn’s $3.9 million revenue outpaced PrizePicks only by about $380,000.

Similar to the state’s sports betting law, DFS games are available only to adults 21 and older. 

The state also prohibits any contest that includes amateur or college events.

But there are also differences in the way the state generates revenue off sportsbooks compared to fantasy providers.

DFS operators are taxed at 15% of their net adjusted gross receipts. That’s the same rate as brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Online sports betting operators are taxed at 20% of their revenues. So, the state received nearly $790,000 from WynnBet from March to June, but PrizePicks’ tax bill for the same period was just slightly more than $535,000.

In Massachusetts, online sports betting operators that are not connected with a licensed gaming land-based gaming operator must pay $5 million for a license that lasts five years. It costs the same to renew the license.

The MGC collects taxes on the DFS operators, but those companies are regulated by the state’s attorney general. Those companies need only to register with the commission, Mills said.

“As such, the MGC does not have a licensing process or fees for DFS operators,” he add

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Author

Steve Bittenbender

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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