In this edition of DailyFantasyUK’s news roundup, the biggest story comes in the form of a merger between two particular daily fantasy operators you may recognise. Yep, the rumoured DraftKings FanDuel merger is definitely on the cards.
In other news, the state of Nevada has decided to regulate eSports betting—despite having previously rejected a similar idea for daily fantasy. Plus, the Global Daily Fantasy Sports platform is heading towards completion for the European market. Read on for the full details!
DraftKings FanDuel merger is becoming a reality
The rumours have been circulating since June, but on Friday 18th November, they became true: DraftKings and FanDuel, the two biggest companies in daily fantasy, announced that they have agreed on a merger.
The two companies are planning to merge fully by late 2017. DraftKings CEO Jason Robbins will continue in his role as CEO of the new merged company. FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles, on the other hand, will become Chairman of the Board.
However, as is almost always the case in the world of DFS, there’s a potential stumbling block in the way. Before all of this goes ahead, a court will need to approve the merger. As Forbes has pointed out, antitrust regulators may well argue that a DraftKings FanDuel merger will create an unfair monopoly in the DFS market.
The DraftKings FanDuel merger comes after a year of difficulties for both companies in the United States. Just this month, they each had to pay the New York Attorney General $6 million dollars in legal fees, and legal issues across the country have cost them both dearly. As reported in the New York Times, both companies have been behind in paying vendors, and FanDuel has just let go of 60 staff members.
What This Means for UK Players
Worried your favourite sites are suddenly going to become hugely different? You shouldn’t expect much change on either site for at least a year, so don’t panic!
A pressing question is how the merger is going to specifically affect DraftKings and FanDuel in the UK. They offer two quite different products here, after all: FanDuel concentrates on football, while DraftKings offers the same games as its US incarnation.
It’s possible that the two will remain separate over here. Or, in reaction to the merger, perhaps FanDuel’s UK site will be incorporated into the DraftKings model. In the meantime, we shall have to wait and see.
Global Daily Fantasy Sports product gathering steam
The European Global Daily Fantasy Sports platform is well on its way to completion, according to a recent company update.
Having now fully integrated with NYX Gaming Group’s Open Gaming System (OGS), Global have an established gaming platform upon which to introduce their daily fantasy product to the European market.
The Vancouver-based company is planning to initially provide daily fantasy games for five major European football leagues:
- English Premier League
- La Liga
- Serie A
- Ligue 1
The company has been getting feedback from select operators to further develop their daily fantasy game. Hopefully, once they’ve gained licensing to operate, Global Daily Fantasy Sports will bring a lot more daily fantasy options to the table!
Nevada is regulating eSports betting–but not Daily Fantasy?!
The Nevada Gaming Policy Committee is urging the Gaming Control Board to develop regulation for eSports betting, which has become increasing popular in the past few years.
The committee certainly seems excited about eSports. They held a discussion called ‘How Nevada can become the eSports capital of the world‘.
They also recommended developing protocols to prevent corruption and match-fixing in the eSports industry, making eSports betting safer and fairer.
Unfortunately, the state didn’t take the same attitude towards daily fantasy sports. Officials rejected DraftKings and FanDuel’s request for daily fantasy regulation in Nevada. Instead, they advised both companies apply for regular gambling licenses.
DraftKings and FanDuel were reluctant to do so. Both companies do not class daily fantasy sports as gambling in the United States, where online gambling is illegal.
The excitement for eSports betting in Nevada may come down to financial opportunity. With AlphaDraft closing its doors on paid fantasy eSports contests last month, and its old rival Vulcun turning its attention to streaming instead, it certainly looks like there’s a considerable gap in the market for daily fantasy eSports.
DraftKings runs daily fantasy eSports contests, but may well find themselves competing against the home of gambling and betting soon!