Is it legal to play virtual sport for cash in the UK?

Sports Equipment

You’re after an adrenaline rush;  you like sports; and you like money…well, there’s a good chance that you’ll absolutely love Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). Briefly, DFS is where you build a virtual team online using real players. If your team does well in real life, you win prizes! Yay! (If you want a more detailed explanation about DFS, click here.)

In recent years, the industry has exploded, and there’s tons of sports you can pick – from the likes of footy, basketball, cricket and even MMA.

It’s exciting and it’s fun. So what’s with all the commotion over in the US, you ask? We understand if you’re worried that you’ll be sanctioned as a criminal if you play, thanks to all of the stuff in the news lately.

Luckily, in the UK, Daily Fantasy is completely legal. However, you should bear a few things in mind…

Be cautious

Although Daily Fantasy as a concept is legal, you have to take precautions to ensure that the sites or apps that you’re playing from are licensed.

The UK Gambling Commission decides whether or not a company is allowed to offer real money DFS games, and it regulates what they do. It should be very easy to determine if a company is legitimate – there is always something on their website or in their terms that tells you they’re licensed.

Mondogoal does exactly this; if you scroll down to the bottom of their page you can see even their license number:

Mondogoal is Licensed

Quick Tips: Make sure you look out for the following:

– Look at their footer – do they have a license number?
– Have they linked to GambleAware or at least put up a 18+ only icon?
– Do they have webpages dedicated to ‘Responsible Gambling’?

As long as you take the above precautions, you won’t be breaking any rules.

Why don’t people like DFS in the US?

The guys over the seas have certain laws on betting. Put simply, they don’t like it, and they don’t approve of it.

Something is classified as a bet if you place money on an outcome that can be influenced by luck. The reason there’s a debate on whether DFS constitutes as gambling or not is because people think there are elements of chance involved in the game, like a player getting injured or the weather affecting players’ performance.

Over here in the UK, however, betting is legal – as long as it is controlled; the UK Gambling Commission does that for us. Therefore, the argument about whether it is gambling or not is pretty much irrelevant; it’s legal anyway!

How do I get a license?

Tax in the UK

You don’t need a licence to play DFS, but if you’re thinking about opening up your own company or a website, it’s not as straight forward as you think. It’s a bit of a process, and you’ll have to part with some of your money.

More specifically, as part of the Gambling Licensing and Advertising Act, companies who partake in remote (online gambling) need a license. This license will cost you; the minimum amount is just over 3K!

Remote gambling providers in the UK are also subject to pay tax – at 15% of the total profit, it’s no small fee.

You can calculate how much it actually costs here.

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