Home I Daily Fantasy Sports I DFS Featured Articles I DFS Successful in the UK?
Is DFS the future of sports betting? Does it have potential in the UK market? And what challenges are DFS providers faced with? We are seeking answers by analyzing the success of Daily Fantasy in the UK.
The Daily Fantasy Sports betting genre is massively popular in the United States, as it combines not only luck and basic team-performance awareness, but also deep knowledge about a certain sport and its athletes. Betters usually operate with a limited budget and “buy” players to make the most-winning formation. They enter daily contests with different rules, budget caps, and entry fees.
Europe is a fairly new market to DFS and fantasy sports in general. Not long ago, taking part in fantasy contests was considered gambling, falling under gambling legal regulations with all the high taxes and hard-to-get licences. The attempts to bring the DFS experience to the European player base began in 2015.
The company Mondogoal was among the first bravehearts to try invading the market in the United Kingdom, as British gambling laws were fairly relaxed. They offered only soccer DFS contests and operated for almost a year but eventually their business model failed.
In 2016 DraftKings, one of the leading DFS providers in the US, introduced its services to the British fans, offering the full range of American sports as well.
Recently the Daily Fantasy Sports genre was recognized as a skill game and that has led to the issuing of a new licence type by the Maltese government, giving fantasy sports websites a new opportunity to expand outside North America and Australia.
To date, there are four Daily Fantasy Sports providers operating in the British market: FanDuel (merged with the pioneer DraftKings), TopBetta, FanTeam, and PlayON. They all offer gameplay in English and accept both US dollars and British Pounds.
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The potential for DFS games in the UK is huge. There are already an estimated 8.5 million players registered in soccer fantasy leagues. The demand for DFS in the UK, as in other European countries, is massive. The daily contests are more fun and rewarding than the long fantasy seasons.
Fantasy and DFS operators in the UK have gained support from some of the biggest European clubs, such as Arsenal and Liverpool.
The player base in the UK is there, so it is just a matter of time for the DFS market to grow. But time is not cheap.
Key factors in order for the DFS boom to happen are gambling laws, DFS providers’ marketing strategies, the quality of the services, and of course, the rate of new player registrations.
People of Great Britain have always been slow to accepting new things. They are conservative by nature, as opposed to their US counterparts. This makes introducing new services and alternative gaming methods a challenge.
The market is huge, the demand for DFS is high, but switching from traditional betting to the Daily Fantasy experience is a long-term thing that will take at least one or two more years. Of course we are talking about the loyal to the service players who bet on a regular basis.
Probably all the 8+ million users would try the new trend and enter a few contests. How many players would continue and prefer DFS to regular sports betting though? It is a matter of service quality, availability, audience susceptibility, and not least, pure luck.
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In conclusion, entering the UK market through Daily Fantasy Sports services is a hard challenge with high risk involved, and only “big players” would have the required capabilities to dive in. In order to break the traditional way and impose a new trend in the UK, you have to be ready to wait and invest.
Things happen slowly on the Island, reshaping habits takes even more time. Smaller companies would not be able to endure this process financially. Already established platforms such as FanDuel, who recently merged with DrafKings, have the edge in this business competition.
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