Football fans across the UK will soon be able to create one day fantasy teams online and enter them into leagues where they can win cash prizes.
Until now, there has been no major online platform offering this type of competition in the UK but a US company facing regulatory battles in its home country is set to expand to the UK, according to The Financial Times.
Boston-based DraftKings wants to “mitigate the risk” of being regulated out of its home market by expanding to new countries, including the UK.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel are being pursued by US courts who argue that the companies are in violation of laws against online gambling.
Matt Kalish, DraftKings cofounder and chief revenue officer, claimed the move to the UK was not a “reaction” to regulatory problems. However, Jeffrey Haas, the company’s international officer, said DraftKing’s international expansion was being motivated by “an element of risk mitigation.”
DraftKings was due to launch in the UK on Wednesday but technical difficulties have reportedly caused a delay.
Daily fantasy sports platforms like DraftKings and rival Fanduel, which is based in Edinburgh but not available to UK users, have acquired millions of users across the US and boast valuations in excess of $1 billion (£686 million).
In the UK, DraftKings will focus on what it calls “proper football” as opposed to the American version that the platform is currently geared towards in the US. This will include the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League.
A number of marketing deals between DraftKings and UK clubs including Liverpool and Arsenal have been signed, according to the FT.
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