Yahoo! made its entry into the DFS market last month, offering only daily fantasy baseball contests thus far. The site has plans, however, to expand and promises to spread basketball, hockey and American football by the time those leagues become active.
But Yahoo! has its eye on the international market as well, and recently struck a rev-sharing deal with MondoGoal, an Isle of Man-based DFS site which focuses on soccer. According to the agreement, Yahoo! will essentially become a mega-affiliate of the site, earning commissions on players who sign up to play fantasy soccer on MondoGoal through its own platform.
Why not go native?
There are a few reasons why the search giant might have partnered with MondoGoal instead of building out their own soccer offering. First of all, offloading its soccer traffic will allow its developers to focus on readying their products for other sports before their respective season began. Second, the deal allows Yahoo! to take a cut of the UK DFS gambling market without having to go through the trials of procuring a license to become an official operator.
Finally, the company could be hedging its bets to avoid pouring resources into a market which may not take off as it has in the US. Indeed, one of the reasons why DFS is so popular in the states is due to the fact that, by and large, sports betting is strictly prohibited in the country. DFS is one of the few ways that gamblers can place real money bets on sporting events. On the other hand, UK players can get instant gratification by placing their bets on one of dozens of legal gambling sites available to them.
DraftKings’ global ambitions
DraftKings is also keen to tap into the international market and has already applied for a UK gambling license of its own. But the requirement to classify itself as a “gambling” site on regulatory paperwork goes against the industry’s argument that the game is in fact, skill-based. Being labeled as a gambling game could also affect US lawmakers’ perception in deciding whether to crack down on DFS operators.
Yahoo! also will have the luxury of leveraging MondoGoal’s existing partnerships, which include West Ham United FC, Liverpool FC, Tottenham Hotspur, AS Roma, FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC.
MondoGoal went live just before the 2014 World Cup and is one of a handful of soccer-exclusive operators.