PrizePicks Issues Opinion To California AG Regarding Pick’Em Product

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
PrizePicks California

Just as PrizePicks announces plans to exit Florida, the popular DFS app takes its legal battle to California. California is one of the latest markets challenging the validity and legality of popular DFS pick’em apps like PrizePicks. In an effort to dispute the claims of illegal activity, PrizePicks’ legal representative Frederick Woocher of California-based law firm Strumwasser & Woocher issued their opinion to California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

A copy of the legal opinion was sent to

PrizePicks Continues Fight In California

PrizePicks is working to maintain its California access. Their legal opinion focuses on the legality of daily fantasy sports in the state. Woocher argues that they do not violate any California law as their products do not classify as a “game of chance.”

“As is set forth in greater detail below, and as State Senator Wilk’s letter requesting the Attorney General’s Opinion recognizes, under California law, no one may operate a “game of chance” without legislative authorization or without the required federal, state, or local licenses. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests are not “games of chance,” however, and California law therefore does not prohibit the offering and operation of DFS online platforms to contestants within the state.”

Reads the Opinion

Opinion Summary:

  1. It is well-established that “games of skill” are legal in California and not considered to be forms of gambling.
  2. The test for what is considered a “game of skill” is also uncontested; the question is – is skill or chance the “predominant” factor in determining the outcome of the contest?
  3. On that question, PrizePicks submitted a statistical study conducted by a University of Chicago statistics professor, Dr. Zvi Gilula. Dr. Gilula concluded that there is no question that PrizePicks’ contests are “games of skill” because “chance is immaterial . . . to determining the winner of [PrizePicks] games.”
  4. Dr. Gilula is considered the foremost expert in this field. He was even used by FanDuel and DraftKings as their primary expert witness when they prevailed on this same legal question in New York. Dr. Gilula concluded here that PrizePicks’ fantasy contests require the same or more skill to prevail than the FanDuel and DraftKings contests that have already been declared “games of skill” by courts.
  5. None of the submissions from other parties to date have submitted any evidence – let alone the type of detailed analysis performed by Dr. Gilula – to dispute the conclusion that fantasy sports in general are games of skill and of all fantasy contests offered in California, PrizePicks games require the highest levels of skill to win.

Will The Opinion Be Enough To Keep PrizePicks In California?

So far in 2024, New York, Michigan, and Florida have already taken steps to remove PrizePicks. California may look at these markets as validation for shuttering PrizePicks in the Golden State. PrizePicks has worked closely with the Coalition for Fantasy Sports in an effort to avoid this. The comments in the opinion to the AG hope to avoid another market exit.

“We hope our comments to Attorney General Bonta will clarify some of the misinformation surrounding DFS. We have great respect for California’s tribal community and their sovereignty, and believe our comments will reinforce the longstanding legality of games of skill in California, including DFS.”

If the opinion does not manage to sway belief in California, then the snowball could continue to grow. What will be PrizePicks next move?