DraftKings push back anticipated UK launch until “early 2016”

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DAILY FANTASY SPORTS

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operator DraftKings has delayed its launch in the UK for the second time amid a spate of legal battles and complications in North America. After receiving a license to operate in the UK in August, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins told reporters that a brand new product would be unveiled to British punters in October, but the launch date was subsequently pushed back to November and then delayed until early 2016.

Jeffrey Haas, the company’s London-based chief international officer, said in October that DraftKings was on track to launch before the end of the year and revealed that it had begun testing its mobile app.

The DFS brand has not given a reason for the delay, but there has been speculation that legal complications in the US have pulled focus away from the company’s global expansion plans.  Online sports paper Legal Sports Report also suggested that the product itself may be held up in development due to unforeseen difficulties in creating a unique UK platform.

With DFS facing increasing scrutiny across the US and new licensing and taxation regimes likely to raise overheads for operators, big players like FanDuel and DraftKings are clearly looking at options for international expansion. FanDuel is currently awaiting a verdict from the UK Gambling Commission on its application to offer its DFS products to British customers, while DraftKings previously expressed an interest in moving into Australia and Asia.

According to Haas, there are currently around 8.5m season-long fantasy sports players in the UK. If DraftKings can corner 15 percent of this market, the company would count 1.3m new customers.


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