Daily Fantasy News Updates for May 2017

Our topics of discussion today are divided between updates in the USA and updates in the rest of the world. Daily fantasy is still a young industry in the United States, but we’re already seeing DFS grow internationally at a rapid pace.

The potential of daily fantasy sports succeeding in countries where online sports betting is a legal alternative are still up for debate, but major players in online gambling are certainly exploring opportunities. If the international market does take off for daily fantasy sites, early market entrants like Draft Kings and Paddy Power’s recent acquisition of PlayDraft, will be in prime position to take full advantage of a boom in real money fantasy leagues.

Today’s post will touch on a variety of different subjects:

  • Global DFS Purchases Mondogoal; Gains Access to Italian Market
  • PlayON Signs Deal with the NBA in International Markets
  • Daily Fantasy Bill Advances in New Jersey
  • Daily Fantasy Bill Fails in Alabama

Global Daily Fantasy Sports Purchases Mondogoal; Gains Access to Italian Market

H/T Legal Sports Report.

Canadian business-to-business DFS company Global Daily Fantasy Sports Inc. (GDFSI) recently announced its purchase of fellow B2B operator Mondogoal. Thanks to agreements struck by Mondogoal prior to the purchase, this deal grants GDFSI immediate access to the growing fantasy market in Italy.

GDFSI operates an international daily fantasy network and platform that other operators can plug into in order to offer DFS games to their customers. For example, bookmakers can contract with GDFSI to offer a daily fantasy game rather than having to build a new daily fantasy platform from scratch.

In a press release issued last week, GDFSI explained that it has purchased Mondogoal’s operating assets including intellectual property, trademarks and client contracts for its B2B operations in Italy.

Those B2B client contracts are of particular importance because last year, Mondogoal struck agreements with two of Italy’s largest sports betting operators: Lottomatica and Sisal Entertainment. Together, Lottomatica and Sisal account for 14% of the online sports betting market. This purchase gives GDFSI a stronghold into what they consider one of their “key European markets.” GDFSI says it has also secured new agreements with the two Italian companies for additional two-year periods.

Mondogoal also operated as a standalone daily fantasy site that focused on soccer in the UK and Europe. Mondogoal also accepted customers from the United States, but its focus was on European markets. However, Mondogoal closed its public-facing fantasy site in December in order to focus its attention exclusively on its business-to-customer operations.

PlayON Signs Deal with the NBA in International Markets

International daily fantasy sports site PlayON secured an agreement with the NBA last month that will allow PlayON to serve as the official fantasy sports site of the NBA in select European, Asian and Latin American markets.

The deal coincided with the beginning of the 2017 NBA Playoffs in the USA, but will be exclusive to non-US territories. In a press release, PlayON said it will be able to tailor its fantasy NBA games to local audiences and languages in a wide range of markets including the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Japan and the Philippines.

In speaking on the deal, PlayON founder and CEO Killian Jones said this:

“PlayON is delighted to be partnering with the NBA to deliver Official Daily Fantasy NBA Games. The NBA’s global reach and daily fixture schedule make it an ideal fit for daily fantasy. We look forward to working closely with the NBA to deliver innovative sports entertainment experiences to basketball fans around the world.”

PlayON went live in 2012 and has since registered customers from more than 100 countries. They differ from other daily fantasy providers in that PlayON is only active in countries in which the company is licensed. PlayON currently offers DFS contests for football, basketball, cricket and golf.

PlayON is also the official daily fantasy partner of the European Tour and the Caribbean Premier League.

Daily Fantasy Bill Advances in New Jersey

A bill seeking to regulate and tax daily fantasy sports in New Jersey cleared an early hurdle last week. New Jersey’s Assembly voted 56-15 in favor of a bill that will enact basic regulations, impose a 10.5% tax on revenue and grant regulatory power to the Division of Consumer Affairs.

Major daily fantasy sports sites already operate in New Jersey, but the bill will finally impose regulations and ensure the state receives its cut of revenues. The bill still needs to make it through the Senate and then be approved by Governor Chris Christie if it is to become the law of the land.

A-3523 is similar to bills already passed in other states. It calls for a minimum participation age of 18, require fantasy sites to set up voluntary self-exclusion programs, prohibit contests based on high school athletic contests and require sites to keep customers’ funds segregated from operational funds.

The Division of Consumer Affairs will also be responsible for issuing permits to would-be fantasy sites operating in New Jersey. The bill calls for the Division to charge a permit fee, but does not go into specifics other than to say the fee should be enough to cover the costs of issuing fees and overseeing DFS activities in New Jersey.

Daily Fantasy Bill Fails in Alabama

Alabama is one of the few remaining states desperately in need of regulation favorable to daily fantasy sports. Last year, then-Attorney General Luther Strange issued cease and desist letters to FanDuel and DraftKings after coming to the conclusion that DFS contests violate state gambling laws. Both sites left Alabama at the request of the Attorney General and have not returned since.

Earlier this year, a renewed effort to legalize and regulate daily Fantasy sports in Alabama got all of our hopes up that things would change for the better. Companion bills introduced in the House and Senate would have legalized DFS, set up a licensing process for fantasy operators and established regulations for the industry.

Lawmakers finally put the kibosh on that hope last week after failing to be put to a vote in the Senate. The bill is now classified as “adjourned sine die,” which means it has been set aside indefinitely.