Yahoo DFS programme receives OK in the UK
As the UK daily sports market contracts, Yahoo DFS’s short stint in the sector has come to an end. As of the 14th May 2016, players will have to find a new operator to take their bets as Yahoo plans to shut down paid entry events entirely and indefinitely.
Barely a year into its entry into the British market, Yahoo is shutting up shop and leaving a handful of operators to occupy the sector – PlayON, Sportito and DraftsKings UK. While there are clearly alternative options, having to start over with a new account is definitely not on our list of things we like to do. Presumably many Yahoo DFS players feel the same way.
A statement from a Yahoo Sports spokesperson confirmed the news. In the statement, Yahoo said that as of the 14th May, no new paid UK-based users will be accepted and paid entry contests will not be available to existing users.
Yahoo has gotten in touch with existing players, offering them the chance to withdraw any remaining funds in their account. UK users were still welcome to participate in free events and in season-long events on the Yahoo Sports Fantasy app, which operates worldwide.
The platform will only offer free contests doing forward and while players can withdraw balances from their account, they will not be offered compensation for any loyalty points accrued. Yahoo’s suspension of services to UK players coincides with the end of the Premier League season in English football.
Understanding the UK market
The daily fantasy sports market in the UK is a strange beast. It’s fairly small and relies heavily on European football events to bring in the punters.
Paid entry contests are difficult to justify in the current climate. On the one hand, players after free options will be drawn towards the highly popular fantasy football managers, which are equivalent to major platforms that do the same thing in the US.
Mobile sports betting is growing in popularity and value, and players who want to bet real money have that capability right at their fingertips. In profit terms, real sports betting will always be more lucrative than fantasy sports.
A brief stay
Back in 2016, Yahoo was granted an operating license by the UKGC allowing it to market its DFS offering to players in Britain.
At the time, that meant it was set to become only the third operator offering this platform in the region. Before acquiring the license, only players in the United States and Canada could access the Yahoo DFS products.
Legal Sports Reports covered the story, reporting that Yahoo DFS would offer players on this side of the pond access to content available in North America, including football contests.