In the regulated UK gambling market, daily fantasy operators enjoy a level of legal clarity that its stateside counterparts are now actively trying to achieve. This well-defined position provides the sites and overseas professional sports leagues the security that North American entities once believed they had in forging partnerships.
PlayON to Reap Multiple Benefits
The latest such opportunity comes in the form of UK-based DFS operator PlayON’s announcement of a multi-year, exclusive agreement with the European Tour, which is expected to provide a sizable boost to the visibility and popularity of both the site and DFS golf contests overseas.
Daily fantasy golf, while not on the same mainstream level of popularity as NFL, NBA, and MLB contests, has seen its participation levels consistently grow over the last several years worldwide. PlayON’s new arrangement enables it to brand itself as the “Official Daily Fantasy Game of the European Tour”, and will allow the site to utilize tour logos and player imagery in promoting its contests.
PlayON participants will be able to choose from both a head-to-head and tournament competition each day that a tour event is ongoing. The operator’s roster for golf contests consists of seven players for each round of play that takes place in European Tour tournaments. In accordance with the European Tour’s Integrity Programme, European Tour members and related personnel, caddies and European Tour staff will not be eligible to participate in PlayON’s European Tour-based daily fantasy contests.
Continued Success for PlayON in UK DFS Landscape
PlayON already offers soccer, NBA and Cricket contests and is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and the Irish Government. Its other gameplay offerings include numerous English Premier League and Champions League contests that are available in daily, weekly (game round) and single match-only formats. It presently only accepts customers based in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia for real-money play, but also allows residents of other countries to participate in free contests with cash prizes.
The European Tour agreement adds to PlayOn’s portfolio of professional league partnerships, which also includes an exclusive arrangement with Cricket’s Caribbean Premier League T20. The European Tour consists of multitude prestigious PGA events, including the Australian PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup, the Italian Open, the British Masters, the Masters, the French Open and the U.S. Open. Its next major event is the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in Surrey, England, May 26-29.
Sharp Contrast to PGA’s North American DFS Stance
The PGA’s partnership with an overseas daily fantasy sports operator is in sharp contrast to its stance in the U.S., where they’ve been steadfastly resistant to officially associate with the industry. However, their burgeoning presence in the UK DFS market potentially provides a glimpse of the organization’s willingness to ink similar agreements in North America, when and if widespread legal clarity is achieved.