PrizePicks Keeps Southern State of Mind, Launches Single Player DFS in Alabama
Posted on: March 17, 2021, 11:30h.
Last updated on: March 18, 2021, 10:37h.
PrizePicks, the Atlanta-based single player daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator, didn’t have to roam too far to find its newest state.
On Wednesday, the company announced it secured a licensing agreement to operate in Alabama. It’s the 31st state or jurisdiction for PrizePicks, which now covers more than three-fifths of the country’s population.
In an interview Wednesday with Casino.org, Founder and CEO Adam Wexler said he’s eager to get his game in Alabama, which legalized daily fantasy sports less than two years ago.
It doesn’t hurt us whatsoever that (the University of) Alabama just had arguably their best football team ever and won a national championship,” Wexler said. “And then their basketball team is arguably as good as ever, having just come off of a regular season and tournament SEC title as well.”
That college basketball team is one of the higher-ranked teams in the NCAA Tournament, which starts Thursday.
Besides the Crimson Tide, Alabama is home to another highly popular college squad, Auburn University. The Tigers have also had some success in college football and basketball in recent years. And its market size – with nearly 5 million people, it’s the 24th largest state – makes it larger than such states as Oregon, Iowa, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Montana, Rhode Island, and Delaware, all of which have legalized sports betting.
“Alabama’s a prize, and we’re excited to obviously get moving as a fantasy operator well in advance of some of the betting operators,” he said.
In its press releases, PrizePicks bills its DFS game as “the closest legal alternative to legal mobile sports betting” in most of the country. Players do not play against large pools of competitors, or even in leagues. Instead, they pick from a menu of available athletes in several sports. The player picks whether the athlete will go over or stay under a certain statistic or a fantasy point threshold.
Players must pick between two and five athletes, then they put up an amount of money. Depending on the type of game players choose, players will win money if a certain number of their picks are correct. For example, if a player goes 5-for-5 on picks and puts up a $10 entry fee, they will receive $100, a profit of $90. If three of the five picks are correct, the player paying a $10 fee would get $4 back, a loss of $6.
The company has received investments from former athletes, such as former NBA player Andrew Bogut and MLB slugger Andruw Jones. Another early investor is legendary poker player Phil Hellmuth.
When Going South Isn’t a Bad Thing
PrizePicks is available in several large states where legal sports betting – either retail, online, or both – is not available. That includes California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia.
For this year, Wexler said the company will seek to secure agreements with Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The three represent the only southern states where PrizePicks does not hold a license.
With more than 125 million people in the states between Florida and Texas, the South is, by far, the nation’s most populous region. And while several southern states are home to major professional sports teams, they also have rabid fan bases for some of the most popular college programs in the country.
While the NBA and NFL are PrizePicks’ top markets, college football and college basketball follow right behind, Wexler told Casino.org. Southern states include several major SEC, ACC, and Big 12 colleges.
“I think that speaks to our Southern focus,” he said.
That also makes this weekend huge for PrizePicks, as the NCAA Tournament is a wildly popular betting event. The American Gaming Association last weekend estimated that more than 47 million people will wager in some fashion on March Madness.
For many, that means playing in a bracket pool with friends or coworkers. After the first round, Wexler noted many people realize they’re not going to win.
“Many of these brackets are busted, and people are looking for ways to stay engaged,” he said. “With a daily fantasy game that serves the majority of the country, we got one of the better ways for people to remain engaged.”
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