DraftKings, FanDuel Suspend DFS Ahead of April 4 iGaming Launch
As we head towards the official launch of Ontario sports betting on April 4, Daily Fantasy Sports players in the province will notice some changes to their available platforms. Beginning on April 1, both FanDuel and DraftKings will no longer have their DFS platforms available in Ontario. However, FanDuel and DraftKings are expected to have their online sports betting (OSB) platforms launched on April 4.
DFS Not Commercially Viable in Ontario
Canadian Gaming Association President and CEO Paul Burns told Covers.com that DFS had not been as commercially viable in Ontario as in United States markets due to two primary issues. The first issue is that DFS was included in Ontario’s new regulations as a gambling product. Hence, operators need to pay a $100,000 licensing fee every year in addition to the 20% tax on gross gaming revenue. This will discourage smaller DFS platforms from operating in the province.
International liquidity has become the “most significant barrier to offering DFS” as Ontario players can only participate in games with other players in Ontario per the new rules set forth by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Additionally, according to Burns, there is no liquidity in the new regulated Ontario market, as “you can’t ‘mingle’ players from other jurisdictions with players from Ontario.” In the United States, individuals who wish to play DFS games can participate in contests with other players from all over the country.
Will FanDuel and DraftKings Re-launch their DFS?
With the new rules in place in Ontario and regulations beginning on April 4, FanDuel and DraftKings would need to have their DFS sites approved and regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to re-launch in the province. With the lack of international liquidity as an option in Ontario, it seems unlikely that FanDuel and DraftKings will be in a rush to re-launch their DFS products until the regulations change.
In the meantime, FanDuel reassured its customers that “Ontario residents can participate in daily fantasy contests while physically located in other provinces and within US states where daily fantasy permitted” in a support article. DraftKings issued a similar message to its Ontario players that they will be able to play DFS games via the platform while in other states or provinces. This comes as a small reconciliation to regular DFS players in Ontario.
While the DFS giants may not re-launch that aspect of their businesses in the near future, they are both among the many operators that will launch online sports betting on April 4. FanDuel joins bet365, BetMGM, PointsBet, theScore Bet, and BetRivers as major sportsbooks to have already gained approval, while DraftKings, Caesars, and many more platforms are expected to join them eventually.
Online Sports Betting Launching April 4
On April 4, Ontario’s iGaming market is set to launch with operators of online sportsbooks and casinos legally permitted to offer their games in the province. The only entity with live sports betting is the government-owned Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. With over 30 operators having applied to join Ontario’s market and 15 non-OLG entities having received a license from the AGCO as of Monday, the market is gearing up for a massive launch.
FanDuel and DraftKings are expected to be among the many operators in the new Ontario market. Some operators, such as theScore Bet, have already begun offering pre-registration promotions for their online sports betting platforms. Be sure to follow the latest Ontario news on the lineups.com website, as we have you covered with everything you need to know ahead of the province’s iGaming launch.