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September 17, 2021

"eSports may be the fastest-growing category in all of sports"

DraftKings aims to go live in UK in October

DraftKings aims to go live in UK in October
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins announced that the firm will soon be offering eSports fantasy contests, and that the site plans to be live in the United Kingdom in October.
United Kingdom | 09/23/2015

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins announced that the firm will soon be offering eSports fantasy contests, and that the site plans to be live in the United Kingdom in October.

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raftKings secured the necessary gambling licensure in the UK last month, but details about what the company might offer abroad have been scant since then.

Aside from the target launch date, Robins shared that player pools will be shared between UK and US players, which likely means UK players will have access to the same contests offered stateside, and should create the opportunity for larger contests.

“We’ll probably be launching in mid to late October in the UK. We do have to do some work to localize the experience a little bit, make sure people see pounds, and things like that, instead of dollars. It will absolutely be pooled liquidity. We’re trying to build something from scratch, country to country. I think it’s really interesting when you can enter a market like the UK … with millions and millions in prizes and millions of people playing, it will be a lot more successful at getting people to try and remain on the platform. It’s always better to be bringing in people from larger population sets, total, than from smaller ones,” Robins said.

“As far as what else beyond the UK, I think definitely Europe, and then Asia will be more of a focus, and then Latin America to follow up. Because I think it can be popular there, but there are some challenges around payments that exist in Latin America. But ultimately, we do want to be a global company in every continent but Antarctica. Australia, too, I should mention. We’ve looked at that, but we don’t know yet exactly what the landscape is like there. But I think it could be a really interesting market. You probably saw too that we’ve launched a lot of new sports that are popular, like soccer. We’ll be looking at others, too, like cricket and rugby next year, as well,” he remarked.

Robins made the initial announcement that DraftKings would have an eSports offering “very soon.” Shortly after, the site released more details via its Playbook blog.

eSports are organized multi-player video game competitions and have been growing rapidly. Currently, two eSports-specific sites—Vulcun and AlphaDraft—dominate the DFS side of the industry. FantasyHub launched a beta test for eSports contests during the summer, but DraftKings would be the largest provider by a wide margin.

“eSports may be the fastest-growing category in all of sports,” Robins said on the RotoGrinders podcast. “Anything where you can fill arenas like Madison Square Garden and Staples Center … why can’t you have a great fantasy game, too? I think fantasy will be the natural evolution of the eSports world. I think eSports is going to be potentially the largest sport in the world in the next decade, and it’s definitely something we’re very aggressively pursuing,” he said.

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