Underdog Fantasy CEO fires salvo at DraftKings and FanDuel following lobbying revelations
Jeremy Levine brands DFS duo ”corporate monopolists” as reports suggest operator-linked lobbying group influenced regulatory action on pick’em-style games
Underdog Fantasy founder and CEO Jeremy Levine has slammed DraftKings and FanDuel after reports alleged a lobbying group with ties to the pair had influenced regulators to ban so-called pick’em-style games in Wyoming over alleged illegal sports betting.
Late on Thursday (October 26), reports emerged from Legal Sports Report concerning leaked emails between lobbyist David Picard and the Wyoming Gaming Commission sent in February, in which Picard branded Underdog Fantasy and PrizePicks “illegal OSW in Wyoming” in the subject line.
Picard’s email, sent to Wyoming Supervising Attorney General Mike Kahler and later forwarded to Wyoming Gaming Commission executive director Charles Moore, included a Forbes article suggesting fantasy contest sites were operating as unlicensed sportsbooks, with Picard including the names of Underdog and PrizePicks in the communications.
Further communications between Picard and Moore over the following two months indicate the preparation of a “cease and desist” letter to Underdog Fantasy and PrizePicks, letters which were sent in July.
Lobbyist Picard is a registered adviser to the Sports Betting Alliance, a multi-state organization which advocates for sports betting legalization and interests, which is backed by BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fanatics.
Despite receipt of the cease and desist letter, Underdog Fantasy still operates DFS contests in Wyoming but has halted offering pick’em-style contests in several other US states over the alleged illegal sports betting claims.
Throughout this period, Underdog founder and CEO Levine has suggested DraftKings and FanDuel are engaged an anti-competitive action, using their lobbying muscle to effectively squeeze his firm out of the market, comments which now seem to have been vindicated.
Responding to the revelations, Levine and Underdog general counsel Nicholas Green called out the actions of the lobbying group in the Equality State on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Buoyed by the reports, Levine attacked recent comments made by DraftKings CEO Jason Robins and FanDuel CEO Amy Howe at the G2E trade show in Las Vegas.
DraftKings and FanDuel have not commented on the revelations made by Legal Sports Report or comments made by Underdog’s Levine.