Time for a quick review of some of the biggest stories hitting the headlines this week in the world of daily fantasy sports. First, we’ll take a look at some of the new offerings DraftKings has for players here in the UK. We’ll also be continuing our coverage of the ongoing legal struggles DFS sites are facing in the US, and we’ll examine the evidence for the mounting speculation that the UK may be the next big target market for DFS. Lastly, we’ll be talking about DraftKings’ recent bailout of the failed DFS operator FantasyHub.
DraftKings expands its offer to UK players
To start off with, good news for fantasy football players here in the UK! DraftKings, which launched the UK version of its site just last month, recently announced some new additions to its roster. Players will now be able to make fantasy picks for the UEFA Europa League and Liga MX. These leagues join DraftKings’ existing offerings, including the Premier League, Major League Soccer, and UEFA Champions League, amongst many others. Learn more about the new options at Inside World Football, or visit DraftKings and let the games begin!
Is DFS about to get big in the UK?
Daily fantasy sports have been big news in the US for around a decade now, but it’s fair to say that the industry is still very much in its infancy on this side of the Atlantic. Recently, though, there’s been speculation that the DFS fun could be about to spread to the UK. Legal Sports Report claims that, despite the small number of operators, there’s fertile ground here for DFS operators to expand rapidly. The “more stable regulatory environment” here in the UK means there’ll be no need for operators here to go through the legal wrangling that has become the norm over in the States. Some reports, though, are more sceptical. They arguesthat the reason for DFS’ popularity Stateside is its position as a substitute for online sports betting. In the UK, where this is legal anyway, it won’t have that niche to itself. Whatever happens, we’ll be tracking all the developments over the coming months here on DailyFantasyUK.
DFS debates continue across the US
Speaking of legal wrangling… another week goes by and yet more states join the debate over the status of daily fantasy sports. Now, state assemblies in New York and Rhode Island are also seeking to regulate the DFS industry. But it’s New Jersey that is garnering most attention. Its legislature wants to regulate DFS, but is refusing to define it either as a game of skill or of chance. The Las Vegas Review-Journal notes that industry leaders want any legislation to explicitly state that DFS is a game of skill. Darren Heitner, writing for Forbes, notes that US operator DraftKings objects to being considered a gambling enterprise in the US. However, the operator has been willing to accept that label when launching in the UK. So which is it? The battles will inevitably continue.
- DFS is now officially legal in Virginia – here’s what it means for you
- USA DFS battle: Hawaii next on the hit list
DraftKings bails out FantasyHub
After the closure of FantasyHub – a small DFS operator which allowed players to donate their winnings to charities – thousands of players, and the charities they supported, were left in the lurch. Now, DraftKings has announced that it will bail out the failed operator, by covering “the full cash balance liabilities owed to former FantasyHub players” as well as money owed to around 100 charities. You can read the full story over at Legal Sports Report. There’s also hope that as DFS moves out of a legal grey area; proper regulation of the industry will prevent other operators from going under in the same way.