DFS - The opportunities outside the US and UK

DFS - The opportunities outside the US and UK

Monday, October 24, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Could India be the next big fantasy market?

One of the main companies ‘killing it’ in DFS right now isn’t primarily aimed at US customers, nor UK consumers, but those in India. Dream11, a fantasy cricket product, is having “phenomenal success” according to DraftKings’ Jeffrey Haas at this year’s EiG.

Three heavyweights in the world of DFS discussed many topics within it at the conference in Berlin last week. Alongside Haas, Oulala CEO Valery Bollier and Fantasy Network's CEO Barak Eisenstein featured in the lively debate.

Asked about other markets worth looking at, and the state of DFS, in markets outside the US and the UK Haas mentioned Dream11 but also gave a shout out to DraftStars, a product owned by Crownbet, which is enjoying the lion’s share of a competitive marketplace in Australia right now where there are 12 operators and counting. Haas said: “Generally speaking this has the potential for success globally but

DFS is still very new, customers need time to learn about it but if we get it right now, it can be huge.”

On the same question, Bollier stated: “We recently announced our ambitions to move into the LATAM market and have partnered with Argentine entrepreneur Sebastian Pino to make deals here. At Oulala we are focused on football, a sport which has a maniacal following all over the world, the best players worldwide play in Europe right now so that’s our area of focus primarily but our customers are everywhere.

“This is why we first signed a deal in Australia, why we’re looking at LATAM and further afield too. It’s a very exciting time for DFS right now.”

Discussing the UK market it will be of little surprise to readers that the panelists agreed that football dominates DFS, and fantasy generally, but the extent to which it does may raise some eyebrows. Haas noted: “In the UK 93% of all customers played football. It’s been not only interesting for us to see the extent of the domination but that these customers have gone on to try out other sports, such as golf and basketball, at rates we did not expect.

“Meanwhile others such as esports haven’t fared as well as we anticipated. What was very notable was at the beginning of the American football season we saw a spike. This isn’t just US expats in the region, it’s the effects of the influx of the NFL into the UK and proof it’s gaining more attention. The NBA too is entering its third year of having events in the UK.”

It’s clear that the three industry individuals concurred that DFS has vast potential globally, and that it’s only just getting started. Eisenstein commented on this from a demographic perspective: “We all understand that millennials prefer skill games such as DFS. So we can confidently expect it to keep growing. It began in the US but it’s still only very much the beginning of its journey.”

Bollier echoed this sentiment: “For millennials we are ideally placed. We offer a skill game and, importantly, a social game too. The next year will be fascinating for the industry.”

Totally Gaming says: With DFS football is an excellent start but don’t ignore other sports which could back it up or even form a primary driver in certain locales. In addition whilst the US and UK markets are arguably those with the greatest potential, opportunities elsewhere are there for the taking as Dream11’s excellent performance shows.

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