FanDuel, one of the biggest daily fantasy sports operators in the world, has announced its withdrawal from the UK market.
Things have not been going well for the DFS operator after its US branch failed to complete a merger with fellow American DFS company, DraftKings.
Now it’s UK-licensed site has shut down after the company unexpectedly announced the exit at the end of last week.
The announcement comes just weeks before the start of the English Premier League (EPL), one of the most popular leagues among DFS players.
FanDuel, which has operated in the UK industry for almost a year, reportedly wants to focus on operations back home in the US.
The UK brand added that it would be putting more effort into its American website and customers.
FanDuel informed its Great Britain customers via e-mail and also detailed a message on its website.
“Unfortunately, we will not be offering contests in the UK this season,” the message on the website reads.
“We hope to be back in the future, bringing more of the games you love.”
The message goes on to explain that all customers who had money in their FanDuel UK accounts would have their funds credited back to the payment method they had most recently used.
FanDuel operated alongside another global leading DFS operator, DraftKings, after it was granted a license by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) in 2016.
The successful license application followed FanDuel’s announcement in 2015 that it would be expanding its international reach.
The DFS operator, which facilitated almost £1 million to be won by its UK fantasy football customers, already had offices in Edinborough so it made the expansion a logical one.
Recently, the UKGC honed in on DFS operators, reminding them to ensure that they are complying with the law.
At the time of writing, some fantasy football companies operating in the UK do not require a license.
But the UKGC highlighted that some fantasy league operators which run season-long tournaments could need a pool betting license from the gambling regulator, depending on the number of tournament participants.
Additionally, DFS operators have been reminded to apply for a sports betting license from the UKGC in order to offer their services to Great Britain residents.
FanDuel’s UK exit may have something to do with the failed merger with DraftKings in the US.
Several lawsuits were filed against the two companies and large sums of money have been allocated to legal expenses.
Both firms were hoping to save money by merging and if they had it may have allowed for the continuation of the international expansion.
But all that money went down the drain when the Federal Trade Commission blocked the merger last month. Given that the Commission said the deal constituted an illegal monopoly, the two DFS operators dropped their arguments almost immediately.
Meanwhile, DraftKings and the UK DFS website, owned by Yahoo, remain in the UK market. If you would prefer to bet on the EPL with a bookmaker you can find out how here.
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