Massive news Monday as US-based Draftkings has established a gaming licence in the UK. This is just the first step in a series of international expansions. They expect to launch in the UK by Q4 2015, then have plans to look into offices in continental Europe, Asia and Latin America in 2016. Our friend @Bigo1 on Twitter has been covering this progress since the beginning, and it’s nice to see that Draftkings themselves are finally discussing it as well.
The site will be https://www.draftkings.co.uk and it is unclear at this time whether US and UK managers will be competing directly. This is great news for DFF players in the UK as it will provide another option for your fantasy £ as well as being a strong motivator for existing operators to step up their offerings in what will instantly be a more competitive environment.
The current form of Draftkings’ Premier League product is not bad, though has just 8 players and does not give points for any defensive actions beyond clean sheets. It will be interesting to see if they tailor the product more to the intense English football fans rather than casual American fans, and have different scoring for each. Or will they ultimately combine the two?
The biggest concern from the American side is that Draftkings have had to establish themselves as a skill game that satisfies of the UIGEA fantasy sports carveout. They have gone to great lengths to not be considered ‘gambling’ in the US, as gambling is illegal in most states other than Nevada. In the end, it’s a matter of classification and this licence is required of all operators in the UK of this ilk. We would guess that Draftkings and their lawyers are comfortable enough with their legal standing and interpretation of both the current laws and what lawmakers may choose to do going forward to make this announcement.
We will keep a close eye on news from Draftkings and let you know when you are able to sign up.