DFS stars FanDuel have launched their daily fantasy football site for UK players.
Though FanDuel have been based in Edinburgh from the very beginning, up to now they’ve only made their tournaments available to players in North America. As one of the two giants of DFS (alongside rivals DraftKings), their absence has been noticeable.
At the end of May, however, the company finally announced a target launch date for August 2016. Sure enough, this month saw the official launch of FanDuel UK!
Founded in 2009, FanDuel proved a perfect fit for the US market. The site has a reported six million registered users and is worth an estimated $1.25 bn. The company has also garnered a host of positive reviews from DFS sites and news outlets alike, including winning a clutch of Webby Awards.
Despite the company’s runaway success and Scottish roots, a UK launch took the better part of a decade to materialise. Here’s a quick timeline of the events leading up to the long-awaited launch…
- The first hint of the impending launch came last November, when FanDuel applied for a UK gambling licence.
- February 2016 saw rivals DraftKings open their own UK site.
- In May, FanDuel announced their intention to launch a UK offering in August.
- The operator partnered with data provider Opta in July, just ahead of the planned start date.
- Earlier this week, the company’s US site went through a major overhaul. They also announced a Rights Bill to combat fears over corruption and legal issues.
- On August 2nd, the long-awaited launch finally happened: FanDuel UK is open for business!
What are FanDuel offering?
With the new Premier League season just around the corner, FanDuel are launching with a focus on football. Unlike DraftKings, they won’t simply be offering the same sports available to US players. This means that basketball, baseball, and American football are all out. Whilst this does mean less choice for UK players, these sports were never likely to attract big British audiences.
FanDuel’s UK-tailored site may be limited to football for now, but they intend to offer other sports in the future. With very few sites offering daily fantasy cricket or golf, and none offering rugby, FanDuel could easily step in and fill the gap in the market. The site will be available on desktop and mobile, and in a further nod to the UK market, their contests will be priced in pound sterling, as opposed to DraftKings’ global use of US dollars.
The legal situation in the US means that FanDuel and DraftKings have been able to dominate the market. In the UK, however, they’re facing tougher competition – both from homegrown DFS operators and traditional sportsbooks.
Will FanDuel’s Scottish roots help them make a big impact in their home country? We’ll find out as the first contests kick off on August 13th.
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