DraftKings and FanDuel are far and away the dominate players in the daily fantasy sports (DFS) space in the United States, owning somewhere in the vicinity of 90 percent of the market share. So when it came time for the National Basketball Association (NBA) – an equity holder of FanDuel – to partner with a daily fantasy site for international markets, it naturally turned to PlayON. Wait…what? PlayON?
Yes, PlayON is now the NBA’s “Official Daily Fantasy Partner” in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. More specifically, the deal covers:
Europe: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom
Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico
Asia: Australia, Japan, The Philippines
PlayON only offers daily fantasy sports contests for real money in Australia (regulated by the Northern Territory Racing Commission), the United Kingdom (UK Gambling Commission), and Ireland (Irish National Excise Office), so the rest of the jurisdictions that are part of the agreement are for play money only. On its website, PlayON boasts that it has customers from over 100 countries. It is very careful about abiding by laws and regulations:
Regulation and security are top priorities at PlayON. The company only offers real-money Daily Fantasy Sports games to customers based in regulated territories within which PlayON holds a license. This approach removes all regulatory risk for PlayON’s customers, shareholders and corporate partners. PlayON is focused on building a sustainable and responsible company over the long term, and views regulation as a key part of this growth strategy.
Obviously, it would make total sense for the NBA to partner with FanDuel, considering its financial relationship to the site, but FanDuel barely has any presence outside of the U.S., whereas PlayOn is already established. PlayON offers contests in soccer, golf, cricket, rugby, and even Australian rules football. Basketball is also offered, even before the NBA deal, but unlike at a site like DraftKings, there are no NBA playoffs contests.
In a press release, Salvatore LaRocca, NBA President, Global Partnerships, expressed his pleasure with the agreement, saying, “With basketball’s global appeal, we are always looking for new ways to bring authentic NBA experiences to our fans across the world. Our partnership with PlayON provides us an opportunity to deepen our engagement with our international audience, and bring these fans closer to the game.”
“PlayON is delighted to be partnering with the NBA to deliver Official Daily Fantasy NBA Games,” PlayON founder and CEO Killian Jones added. “The NBA’s global reach and daily fixture schedule make it an ideal fit for daily fantasy. We look forward to working closely with the NBA to deliver innovative sports entertainment experiences to basketball fans around the world.”