FanDuel and DraftKings are the two biggest Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operators in the United States and earlier this year were holding discussions for a possible merger that would have created the biggest DFS company in the U.S and given them a monopoly on the DFS market. The companies announced recently that they would no longer pursue the merger and continue to remain as individual entities.
Fanduel Takes Hiatus After 12 Months
Now FanDuel has also confirmed that it will exit the United Kingdom and no longer be accepting DFS bets from UK players. The company informed its player base in the UK via email and social media. FanDuel stated that it was taking a break from the UK market but did not confirm when it could make a potential re-entry.
FanDuel users were informed that their remaining deposit money would be refunded in full and that the company would no longer be accepting DFS bets. The DFS operator entered the UK market just 12 months ago as part of its strategic plan to focus on international markets and expand its brand outside the U.S.
In a statement to LegalSportsReport, a FanDuel representative said “We will not be operating our UK product this upcoming EPL season to focus on our product in the US. 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.”
Reasons For FanDuel Exit
FanDuel has not given any specific reason for exiting the UK market other than wanting to concentrate on the upcoming NFL season in the U.S. However one can deduct from FanDuel’s statements that the company did perform as per its expectations in the UK. The company confirmed that in its 12 months of operations in the UK, it had paid out a little over £1 million in winnings.
That is a rather small amount for the UK which has a population of more than 65 million. That payout is rather trivial for a company the size of FanDuel who would have made approximately £100,000 to £150,000. In 2016, FanDuel’s estimated handle would have been around $1.5 billion. The fact that the company was making minimum revenue in the U.K, would have contributed to the company making the decision to exit the UK market.
It is also very expensive to obtain a gaming license in the United Kingdom and advertising costs have also increased in the last few years. FanDuel has not campaigned for funds during the last few years and has a tight budget to promote the English Premier League which is just around the corner. As a result, FanDuel might have made the decision to pull out of the UK and concentrate its financial resources and energy on developing new offerings for the upcoming DFS season in America.
DFS Operators Who Remain In The UK
While FanDuel has decided to pull out of the UK, there are still a number of well known DFS operators who continue to offer DFS services. DraftKings has no plans to pull out of the UK market and has continued to expand its global footprint. Apart from launching in the UK, DraftKings has also launched DFS services in Germany and plans to enter a number of new countries before the end of 2017.
Some of the other DFS operators currently plying their services in the UK include PlayON, DraftKings UK and Yahoo DFS. Canadian based Amaya Inc, the parent company of the biggest online poker site in the world – PokerStars has also launched a DFS offering called BetStars.
DraftKings stated that their DFS offerings have been well received in the UK and the company will continue with its international expansion plans. DraftKings has launched a marketing and advertising campaign in the UK just before the English Premier League can start. The EPL has a massive fan following in the UK and DraftKings will be launching a number of exciting EPL contests in the coming weeks.

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