There’s another twist in the story of daily fantasy sports betting today. One of the biggest betting providers in the game, DraftKings, have pulled out of four key European markets without warning. In an email sent out to customers in Ireland, Austria, Malta, and Germany, DraftKings confirmed that as of January 22nd, they would not be able to make deposits or participate in DFS betting at DraftkKngs.
Customers Advised to Withdraw Money from Accounts
Fantasy esports betting has always been one of the most popular products available at DraftKings. As with any betting site, the deposits and winnings are held in the customer’s accounts. However, in the email, which was sent out to customers on January 18th, it was strongly recommended that “you initiate a withdrawal request from DraftKings as soon as possible”.
This is because, after January 22nd, DraftKings confirmed that they would not be able to process withdrawals and would have to remit any remaining funds to the Malta Gaming Authority. This governing body has licensed DraftKings to operate in Europe for the duration of its run.
Unfortunately, DraftKings have not actually provided any official reasons as to why this sudden change has occurred. It is particularly surprising as daily fantasy esports betting is one of, if not the flagship product at DraftKings.
Image credit: DraftKings
Unpopular decision – fans left disappointed by the news
Fans of DraftKings daily fantasy betting have taken to social media to express their distaste for the decision, which came completely out of the blue. This is especially true for fans of niche markets, including CSGO fantasy betting at DraftKings.
Having said that, the CFO, Jason Park, did announce that DraftKings intended to “reduce promotional intensity” across established states in the US. There is also a distinct possibility that this decision has been linked to the Q3 earnings of 2022, which hinted that DraftKings might pull back in certain markets going forward.
The Future of DraftKings DFS in Europe
There could be good news for UK fans. DraftKings holds a separate license to operate in the country from the UK Gambling Commission, which is entirely separate from their MGA license. Currently, there is still radio silence from DraftKings in terms of announcements beyond their emails, but if this decision has been influenced by the MGA, the UK may be safe.
Similarly, players in the US and in Canada can probably rest easy as not only is DraftKings owned in the US, but their largest markets are there too. Fans in the UK have not yet received any emails, but the future is unclear. While many esports betting providers are currently expanding in Europe, DraftKings is taking the opposite path.