The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) issued a warning to the organisers of fantasy football leagues to be careful not to be caught cheating by gambling law. The UK regulatory watchdog made this right before the beginning of the new football season, raising a red flag about the risks for the organisers of such events.
According to the UK Gambling Commission, the main risk for everyone who organises fantasy football leagues is that they could be required to present a pool betting license from the Gambling Commission. Currently, prize values are determined by the number of paying entrants.
Up to date, certain fantasy operators are free from the obligation to hold a pool betting license, such as the ones that organise privately-run contests between colleagues. In order for the UK Gambling Commission to exempt such an operator from the pool betting licensing requirement, the operator needs to prove without any doubt that the fantasy pool they offer is not being run as a business.
What is more, the UK Gambling Commission has reminded that all fantasy operators need to be fully aware of their promotional activity on social media channels, and especially on Facebook and Twitter no matter whether such channels are used privately, publicly, or within groups.
This is exactly why the country’s gaming regulatory body explained that advertising campaigns which encourage people to gamble in order to boost the use of such facilities could mean that the pool is being run not privately, but as a business, which would definitely require them to get a UKGC betting license. The Commission once again reminded that any fantasy football leagues operated in the course of a business would require an operating license.
The Programme Director of the UK Gambling Commission, Ben Haden, described fantasy football as a popular pastime for a large number of people over every football season and even a reason why many would consider setting up their own league this summer. Mr. Haden also commented on the gaming regulatory body’s warning to operators, saying that the UK Gambling Commission only wants to make sure that organisers of such leagues were fully aware of the legal requirements included in the country’s gambling regulation and prevent them from violating these rules.
Currently, there are some Daily Fantasy Sports companies that operate on the territory of the UK. Despite that some of the biggest DFS companies reported pretty satisfactory results after entering the UK market, the access to the latter has not been reported to have increased liquidity to a degree that really makes a difference to date. Still, the UK Gambling Commission has made sure that the these part of the local gaming market is thoroughly covered. It has provided answers to the most common questions asked by DFS operators, reminding them that they would be required a betting license in case that they run such operations in the course of a business.