FanDuel to Exit UK MarketAugust 7, 2017 11:20 am
After offering its product for just one year in the UK, FanDuel has announced that it will soon be exiting the country’s daily fantasy sports market in order to more fully concentrate its efforts on the US market, and specifically the next NFL season that gets underway on September 7th. The surprising decision was made just as the hugely popular English Premier League soccer season is about to begin, and as the company’s public announcement explains:
“Unfortunately, we will not be offering contests in the UK this season. We hope to be back in the future, bringing you more of the games you love.”
While FanDuel has not elaborated further on the move, it is likely due to the positive development that have taken place in the USA’s daily fantasy sports landscape over the past year. In 2017 alone, for instance, a total of 6 states have approved DFS regulation, bringing the number of states with regulated DFS industries to 15. That is a much different situation to the one that existed in 2016, which originally led companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings to seek out other business opportunities elsewhere.
Despite the UK being one of the world’s biggest gambling markets, FanDuel only paid out around £1 million ($1.32m) in prize money during its first year of operation, representing a mere £100,000 to £150,000 in business for the company. Needless to say, the USA still remains the main target for FanDuel, and before regulators started clamping down on the industry, its handle for 2016 was estimated to have reached around $1.5 billion. Further factors which would have influenced FanDuel’s latest decision to quit the UK also includes the country’s expensive gaming license fee, as well as ever-increasing advertising costs. Commenting on the situation, a FanDuel spokesperson explained:
“As we approach the NFL season, we are allocating all of our resources towards ramping up a US product that consumers love and building out complementary fantasy sports products. There are over 53 million people playing fantasy sports in the United States and we are investing all of our resources on that market.”
Despite FanDuel’s departure, a number of other DFS company’s will continue to offer their products in the UK, including DraftKings, PlayON, Yahoo DFS, and the The Stars Group’s betting subsidiary called BetStars.