FRexit: FanDuel says Goodbye to the UK, How Long Will DraftKings Really Stay?Published August 2, 2017 by Lee R
With DFS still taking a beating from the courts back home, FanDuel was apparently overextended.
Barely a year in, Daily Fantasy Sports Operator FanDuel has ceased operations in the UK.
Emails to players informing them of the withdrawal were confirmed from the FanDuel Twitter account. No reason was specified for departure, with FanDuel expressing hopes of returning sometime “in the future.”
The foray, which brought UK brought players some £1m, now leaves only DraftKings in the UK. It remains to be seen how long they will maintain their presence after cancelling their well-publicized merger with FanDuel, which was a major reason for FanDuel’s UK withdrawal.
American Football, not Europe
With the US football season coming up, FanDuel seems to have bigger fish to fry after attempting to ingratiate UK players with DFS for the football leagues. Now, instead of ramping up the integration with the English Premier League soccer season, FanDuel will issue blanket player refunds.
High Hopes Dashed
FanDuel’s original entry was a way to explore opportunities and compete with DraftKings in markets less resistant to DFS and gambling than North America, which also served to bring the competition with DraftKings to a foreign front.
The idea looked promising with a seamless acquisition of licensing by both DFS giants from the UK Gambling Commission in summer 2016.
Foundation Cracked Back Home
However, neither company was as free to move about the globe as they chose, as legal issues back home persisted.
The state of New York refused to legalise DFS, setting a precedent among many other states that led to a indefinite delay of the merger that was struck between FanDuel and DraftKings, a merger now under review by the FTC.
The delays have stalled expansion and clearly tied up projected revenue that would have fortified the organic operational model.
FanDuel began its UK foray in its Edinburgh, Scotland headquarters where over 150 staff will remain employed. They just won’t be offering competition in the UK.
The rosy optimism of the merger is giving way to the greater realities of the true magnitude of resistance which DraftKings and FanDuel are up against back home.