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UK Gambling Commission Warns DFS Companies

Daily fantasy sports companies have convinced sports leagues and politicians that what the offer is not gambling. Don’t tell that to the United Kingdom Gambling Commission which says it is. The UKGC issued a release Monday warning companies about offering unauthorized DFS games that require entry fees. The move comes ahead of next month’s start of the English Premier League. The soccer league is the most popular sport in England. It is much like the NFL in the United States.

The Gambling Commission said anybody offering paid games without a pool betting license is probably breaking the law. The UKGC also said that merely advertising would require a license. That includes advertising on social media.

“Advertising, when it comes to gambling, includes doing anything that encourages someone gamble, or provides information about gambling facilities so that it will increase use. This includes Twitter or Facebook posts, whether public, or private or within groups,” the statement said. “Promoting a fantasy football league in this way could mean it is being operated in the course of a business and will need an operating license.”

Games between co-workers and friends look to be fine.

“The risk for those organizing fantasy football leagues is that it could require a pool betting license from the Gambling Commission, as prize values are determined by the number of paying entrants. The exception to this is where it is not run in the course of a business, or where it is run privately, for example with residents of the same premises or between work colleagues.”

England is far ahead of the United States when it comes to sports betting. You can place a bet outside a soccer stadium and then go watch the match. But the UK views daily fantasy sports differently. That hasn’t stopped the big companies from entering the UK market. But it does make an admission what they offer is gambling.

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