UK fantasy sports operators warned about betting licenses

UK fantasy sports league organizers have been warned not to conduct their operations in a manner that requires them to obtain a sports betting license.

With a new football season just around the corner, the UK Gambling Commission is warning fantasy sports organizers not to get “caught out by gambling law.” On Monday, the UKGC issued a warning to would-be organizers of fantasy football leagues that operating their league as a business requires a UKGC-issued pool betting license.

The UKGC’s pool betting license category encompasses all betting activities – horseracing, football, other sports and fantasy football – in which customer stakes are pooled and the payouts are calculated by dividing the total pool value (minus commission) by the number of winners.

The UKGC exempts certain fantasy operators from this pool betting licensing requirement, such as privately run contests among office colleagues. However, these fantasy operators must be able to demonstrate that their fantasy pool is not being run as a business.

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