Daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel has finally received its long-awaited UK gambling license—just in time for its planned debut across the pond.
The Edinburgh-based company confirmed in May that it is eyeing to launch in the UK in August, although they couldn’t make an official announcement since the move is “still provisional” as they wait for the UK license application to be approved.
FanDuel has previously been given the green light to operate remote gambling software, but it’s not yet allowed to operate remote pool betting—for its football-only product—in UK.
However, a quick search on the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) website on Thursday showed that FanDuel’s license status has already been changed from “in progress” to “active.”
According to information from the UKGC website, the active status indicates “that the licensee holds a license that they are able to operate under.” In FanDuel’s case, the license for pool betting means the DFS operator can now “provide facilities for pool betting by remote communication.”
FanDuel snaps up Opta for UK launch
The DFS operator has yet to make announcement about being granted a license. However, FanDuel confirmed that it has partnered with sports data firm Opta ahead of the start of the English Premier League football season.
Under the partnership, Opta will provide live performance statistics for FanDuel’s UK platform. Karol Corcoran, director of international marketing at FanDuel, said the UK product “is being built from the ground up” by the same team that developed the company’s U.S. product.
The UK launch comes at a crucial time for the DFS operator, which has suffered a setback in the United States after several states argued that its model violates gaming laws in the country. FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles said in 2015 that the company hopes to launch a UK-facing site to “test the waters,” as “everyone needs to prove that there is a market outside the U.S.”
FanDuel’s UK product will be different from DraftKings UK, which offers contests on U.S. sports such as baseball, basketball and NASCAR. Eccles said FanDuel UK will be fantasy football-only, although there’s a possibility of expanding to other sports in the future.