Yahoo Gets UK Gambling License for Daily Fantasy Sports

Yahoo Gets UK Gambling License for Daily Fantasy Sports

As a multinational technology company, Yahoo is mainly known for its news, search engine, and other services. But they’re also engaged in daily fantasy sports and have taken their DFS product a step further by obtaining a UK gambling license.

Yahoo first announced the UK launch through their Twitter feed, and this marks their first push into the UK.

Meanwhile, Mondogoal, Yahoo’s UK-based fantasy soccer partner, has shut down its consumer-facing branch and will focus on the B2B market.

As Legal Sports Report points out, Yahoo gaining a UK license drew very little press, which seems strange for a company that’s worth $30 billion.

Before the UK launch, Yahoo’s daily fantasy sports were only available to US and Canada residents. Now, they’ll offer a DFS product to UK residents that localizes currency with British pounds, and liquidity will be shared between the US, UK, and Canada.

The gambling license is officially held by a Yahoo subsidiary in Dublin. However, Yahoo is definitely the owner, which is unique in that a publicly traded American company has a gambling license.

DraftKings and FanDuel — now in the process of merging — also hold a UK license. But the distinction is that they’re not publicly traded, nor do they have the notability of Yahoo.

In the US, many states are still debating the legality of DFS. But in the UK, laws are clearly defined since operators need a pool betting license. If Yahoo wants to offer traditional casino games and online poker, they’d need to get more licensing.

As for if Yahoo DFS will be able to expand into other parts of Europe, the jury is out. DFS has not done well in the UK, but this is because Draftkings and FanDuel have never run heavy advertising campaigns there.

Global Daily Fantasy Sports and Mondogoal believe the future in Europe is by focusing on B2B, offering their platforms to established online sportsbooks that want to launch DFS. Mondogoal has already undertaken this task, offering their platform to an Italian company.

As for the DFS market as a whole, Yahoo remains a clear third to the merging tandem of DraftKings and FanDuel. These two companies continue to drive the market, and will keep doing so when they fully join in 2017.

Yahoo also never engaged in the massive advertising campaign that DraftKings and FanDuel performed. This trend doesn’t look to change in the near future, but Yahoo’s expansion into the UK at least shows that they’re still ambitious with DFS.