FanDuel Joins The UK Play
The line between gambling and daily pay fantasy may have clouded again in recent days as FanDuel joined FraftKings in applying for a gambling license in the U.K. The join the leader in the European pay fantasy business, Mondogoal, in having legal betting opportunities in the UK. The plan is to launch a European product in 2016 and is a departure from their long-talked about business of staying U.S. focused on football and the NBA.
“I think it’s an interesting proposition,” CEO Nigel Eccles said. “Candidly, we’re going to test the waters, but it’s an unknown. Everyone needs to prove that there is a market outside the U.S.”
“It may not even be a daily fantasy product. I told the guys, come to me with a skill-based product in the U.K. that you think will work,” said Eccles. “We think that sports is universal, but the way people engage with sports is different, and the right game for them might be different in every country.”
FanDuel’s first entry into a regulated gambling market comes on the heels of Eccles’s acknowledging that the days of unregulated fantasy sports in the U.S. are almost over. There’s some question about whether the economics of fantasy sports will work once regulation cuts into the profit margins. Mondogoal says it pays 15 percent of its gross revenue in the U.K. in taxes and that about 20 percent of its costs go to regulatory expenses.