Europe’s inherent betting habits and the new generation’s longing for knowledge-based games have encouraged Daily Fantasy Sports
North Americans have made Daily Fantasy Sports a worldwide phenomenon. The industry has shown a tremendous growth year on year from .5 Million (i.e.500,000) estimated number of fantasy sports players in 1988 to around 56.8 million in 2015.
Even as sports fans in the region continue to go wild over DFS, there’s another market getting ready to hook millions of sports fans. It’s none other than the soccer fan capital of the world – Europe.
DFS could make a serious foray here due to three reasons –
- Sports fans there would do anything to prolong their engagement with the games.
- Sport fans in Europe are knowledgeable – a crucial factor in fantasy sports fanship.
- Europeans love gambling. And if you isolate fans in the UK and Ireland, they had sports betting as part of their mainstream culture for generations .
So what are the initial numbers? The official Barclay’s Premier League fantasy game had over 3.6 million players signing up for the 2015/2016 season. Having said that, there’s a glaring fact that users don’t necessary know that fantasy sport is. So the user base as of now is limited to soccer fans who know fantasy sport or are dying to ape the Americans in that field. However, here’s a twist – the younger population especially in the age group of 18-35 years, want an online playing experience different than those experienced by older generations. That leaves a lot of scope for the fantasy sports startups interested in projects like fantasy football website design or building fantasy sports solutions.
What is competition in Europe is also an opportunity. The biggest competitor of fantasy sports in Europe is online betting. Yet, guess who would think of disrupting the online betting market with fantasy sports? Drafts Kings recently acquired a license to operate in the UK and went live in February 2016 while FanDuel is on its way. And this in the middle of some startups brewing their fantasy sports recipes right at some of the most unthinkable places in Europe. In March, there was news that You42 the soon-to-be-launched social entertainment network acquired Rivalry Sports – a major player in the ‘next generation of daily fantasy sports’ and announced plans of rolling out the daily fantasy platform in Europe, where it intends to expand the sports offering to the likes of Soccer, Cricket and Rugby. There’s Oulala.com based in Malta (launched in 2013) and the founders succeeded in acquiring £1.5million investment from business organisations and angels in Malta along with the Maltese Ministry of Economy and Google. Daily Fantasy Sports has proved to be irresistible in North American soil and there’s enough smoke around Europe to believe it is set to make the same dent there too.
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