After being in operation for less than a year in the United Kingdom, daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel has announced they will be shutting down their UK-facing site in order to focus more on the United States market. This past Friday, the members of the FanDuel UK site were sent emails detailing the shutdown of the site. FanDuel stated their leave from the country might not be permanent and is a hiatus for the upcoming season.
It was in July of last year that FanDuel was given licensing to operate in the UK by the UK Gambling Commission. The site launched by August and came just a short time after DraftKings had launched their UK-facing site.
According to FanDuel, in their first year of operations, the customers in the UK won close to £1m which is low considering the earnings capability in the United States. It has still been undetermined if daily fantasy sports will be as appealing to the gamblers in the UK as it is in the United States. In the UK, gamblers have more access to single game sports wagering which is probably far more appealing than DFS. In the US, players are quite limited on sports betting so they gravitate towards DFS.
In regards to the UK shutdown, FanDuel told the press that the suspension will provide the company with time to focus their product in the United States. The NFL season is about to begin so FanDuel will be moving their resources towards ramping up their offering for US customers, creating complementary fantasy sports products.
The change by FanDuel comes just shortly after the planned merger with DraftKings collapsed. While DraftKings seems to be in a position to carry on despite the merger falling thru, the jury is still out as to if FanDuel has the ability to succeed without assistance.
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