DraftKings Acquires Coveted Malta Gaming License

February 15th, 2017

SHARE

DraftKings Acquires Coveted Malta Gaming License

DraftKings' continued push into Europe took another step forward recently with the news that it has been granted a "skill game" licence by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Following on from the MGA's decision to define skill-based betting as separate from other betting activities, DraftKings has been handed the first official Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) licence from the regulator and, with it, access to a host of European countries.

DFS See Rise World Over

News of the new licence broke at the close of January, which was just under a year after DFS first went live in the UK. Having already established itself in the US market alongside FanDuel, DraftKings filed a licence application under "gambling operations" and "pool betting" in June 2015.

After reviewing the application, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) granted the DFS operator a UK gambling licence. With a new licence in place, DraftKings UK was able to link up with the US and Canadian platforms, but it still maintained a desire to become active in more European countries.

With a licence from the respected UKGC in place, DraftKings Chief International Officer Jeffrey Haas moved to acquire an MGA licence in 2016. A period of review followed and official confirmation of the licence was published on January 30, 2016.

What is a Malta Skill Games Licence?

After identifying a need to re-classify certain games due to the amount of skill present in them, the MGA published the Digital Games of Skill with Prize Position Paper in December 2015. Setting out the guidelines for what would become the 'Malta Skill Games Licence', the paper concluded that games in which "skill plays a more predominant role than chance" shouldn't be classified as gambling in the same way.

To further distinguish between games of skill, the MGA created a sliding scale of oversight. At one end, games where there is very little scope for chance to influence the result would require no oversight. At the other, games where there is still an element of luck involved would require some oversight from the MGA.

Daily Fantasy Games and Sports were placed more towards the latter position, which means DraftKings will be "subject to additional regulatory supervision" to ensure the safety of customers is kept intact. As part of its licensing conditions, DraftKings will have to provide regular reports to the MGA on top of paying a 5% tax on its gross gaming revenue.

Why an MGA Licence Matters to DraftKings

With its controlled skill games licence now approved, DraftKings is not only permitted to offer DFS betting in Malta, but any European Union (EU) country that hasn't explicitly ruled that DFS is gambling. At this stage, it's important to stress that the MGA skill game licence only provides a legal basis for DraftKings' right to offer its services in an EU country.

Indeed, under EU law there must be a free market for goods and services. Based on this and assuming a country hasn't specifically excluded DFS betting, there should be no impediment for any DFS operator with an MGA licence. Naturally, if an EU country later rules that DFS is gambling, then this could force DraftKings to either withdraw from that region or challenge the ruling in court.

European Expansion Could Help Forge Links with North America

For now, however, DraftKings is free to expand its operation across the EU and, according to Haas, its first port of call is Germany. With a population of 80 million and one of the most buoyant iGaming markets in the world, Germany should prove highly lucrative for the operator.

However, as Haas has also stated, Germany will be one of many countries DraftKings will be venturing into over the coming months. In fact, in commenting on his plans before the MGA awarded DraftKings a licence, Haas believes the EU has a potential customer base of 100 million.

If this proves to be true, DraftKings would become by far the largest DFS operator in the European gambling market and, potentially, the world. Indeed, it may then be possible for the operator to link its European sites to its US assets. For example, in states like New York, DraftKings met the regulation requirements and was granted a licence to operate as it was deemed a game of skill [here's a map of DFS regulation state-by-state].

With Malta offering a similar verdict, there may be no reason why both regulatory bodies wouldn't sanction a playerpool sharing agreement. If this were to happen, it would not only benefit DraftKings as an operator, but also European customers who want access to more sports and, importantly, prize money.

Whether you're in the States where the DFS boom began or across the pond in Europe where the betting market is growing rapidly, players can visit DraftKings today and receive a generous sign up bonus to ensure their transition into the world of DFS is as smooth and successful as possible!

Betting News Articles


Premier League Joins MLB and NBA Supporting Integrity Fees
Premier League Joins MLB and NBA Supporting Integrity Fees

The English Premier League has jumped onto the integrity fee bandwagon giving American professional sports leagues some overseas backing. With legal sports betting becoming an increasingly likely ... Read More

Against All Odds Las Vegas Now Favourites for Stanley Cup
Against All Odds Las Vegas Now Favourites for Stanley Cup

In their first ever season of existence, the Las Vegas Golden Knights have brought their own glitz and glam to tinsel town and kept the party going late. Later than anyone could’ve possibly imagined ... Read More

Gronkowski Buys Stake in Kentucky Derby Horse Named for Him
Gronkowski Buys Stake in Kentucky Derby Horse Named for Him

NFL superstar Rob Gronkowski’s future playing football may be in question, but one thing is for certain. The New England Patriots’ tight end will be watching the upcoming Kentucky Derby closely ... Read More

Bookmakers Favor Nurmagomedov in Potential McGregor Clash
Bookmakers Favor Nurmagomedov in Potential McGregor Clash

The undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov is now UFC lightweight champion after presiding over a challenging win at UFC 223 last weekend and the attention-grabbing victory actually has bookmakers placing ... Read More

McGregor v Mayweather Part 2 Coming to an Octagon Near You?
McGregor v Mayweather Part 2 Coming to an Octagon Near You?

Could an MMA-style fight between UFC superstar Conor McGregor and undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather be in the cards? That’s what many in the sports world are trying to find out after a ... Read More

Shifting Odds Could Suggest a Future Female James Bond
Shifting Odds Could Suggest a Future Female James Bond

Bookmakers believe there could be a dramatic casting change for a future James Bond film. On Tuesday, top betting sites slashed odds of a female lead in the next 007 film after a surge of bets. Emily ... Read More

Betting Navigation

Newsletter

Sign up for the free Gambling.com Newsletter to stay on top of all the best bonuses!
We will never share or misuse your personal information. Privacy Policy

Latest Betting News

Betting Guides

Country Guide

DISCLAIMER: Online Wagering is illegal in some Jurisdictions. It is your responsibility to check your local regulations before playing online. GDC Trading Ltd takes no responsibility for your actions.
© 2011-2018 GDC Trading Limited. All Rights Reserved. Gambling.com is a registered trademark of GDC Trading Limited.
Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy

Asset 4AndroidGET IT ONfacebookDownload_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_RGB_blk_4SVG_092917twitter