DraftKings announced today that it has received its license to operate in the UK, and will open a third office in London.
The company applied for its license in June and plans to launch its product in the fourth quarter of this year. In addition, the site plans to continue expanding globally and expects to open in other markets in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific in 2016.
DraftKings’ Chief Executive Officer Jason Robin from the press release:
Our expansion into the United Kingdom marks a milestone moment in the growth of DraftKings as we introduce our world-class product to new audiences. We will add new sports and games to our burgeoning roster of offerings and further connect fans to their favorite teams and players. We also welcome the opportunity to forge new partnerships with leagues, teams and media outlets internationally as we have done with exceptional success in the United States.
Hiring for 20 positions
DraftKings’ Chief International Officer Jeffrey Haas, “who has experience in opening markets for new gaming products across the globe,” has been tapped to spearhead the expansion. To fill the new London office, he will be tasked with hiring for some 20 positions, including customer acquisition, marketing, communications, analytics, compliance and business development.
Haas believes that, while popular in the US, DFS is also set to explode on the international market. Unlike in the US market, where NFL contests reign supreme, DraftKings’ UK product will likely heavily feature soccer games, due to the popularity of the sport outside of America.
Focus on soccer
MondoGoal is one of the most established soccer-only DFS sites on the market. The Isle of Man-based company recently announced a partnership with Yahoo!, which essentially will allow the search giant to become a mega affiliate, sending traffic to MondoGoal and receiving a cut of the revenue.
Some are questioning whether DFS will enjoy the same popularity as it has in the US. Betting directly on the outcome of sports contests in the country is considered to be illegal, so fantasy sports provide an outlet for those who would like to bet on sports, but are not allowed by law. In the UK, however, there are myriad sites where players can gamble to their hearts content on a variety of sports, completely legally.
DraftKings will also have competition in the US and the UK in the form of StarsDraft, the forthcoming DFS product from PokerStars-owned Amaya Gaming. The company holds licenses in several countries and will likely become a formidable presence in the jurisdictions in which it chooses to open up shop.