Daily fantasy sports giant Draftkings secures MGA gaming licence

Daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings secures MGA gaming licence

One of the two biggest companies in daily fantasy sports (DFS) DraftKings has been granted a controlled skill games licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). This will allow them to operate in not only Malta but as well as expanding their reach to many other European Union states.

The US sports betting giant has already expanded beyond their core US market where they launched in the UK almost a year ago and now expanding to Europe being granted a licence for Malta and a host of other EU states.

Jeffrey Haas speaking at SiGMA16 (on the left)

Jeffrey Haas, Chief International Officer at DraftKings who was a speaker at one of the SiGMA conferences last year in November 2016 entitled “Fantasy sports and its growing popularity across continents”, spoke to Wall Street Journal (WSJ). He announced the company’s intentions to expand to Germany by the end of March seeing that the country is very involved with fantasy sports activities.

Haas added: “We looked at what allowed us to become successful in the U.S., and one of the key factors was that we came into a marketplace where there was already a strong culture of fantasy sports.”

Joseph Cuschieri at MGA stand during SiGMA16 (first from the left)

DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins said:  “We are pleased that Malta has recognised the need for special licensing of daily fantasy sports and other skilled based games. The Malta Gaming Authority is an innovative organisation and it is clear that they have put a lot of thought and rigor into this process.”

DraftKings allows its users to place bets on fantasy sports-related activities. The ability to win or lose money depends on the competence to predict professional sports results due to some knowledge of the game. This is why it is considered a game of skill rather than a game of chance.

Following the introduction of specific regulations for skill games licences late last year from the MGA, DraftKings has become one of the first to secure such licence.

MGA executive chairman Joseph Cuschieri explained: “Malta’s intention to regulate digital skill games with a prize was first announced in December 2014 when the MGA published a consultation document.”

“From then onwards, the MGA sought the input of various industry stakeholders and experts in order to develop a framework which facilitates the development of the sector, while ensuring adequate protection for players and fairness of the games.”

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