DraftKings has confirmed that it will expand to Australia in the second quarter of this year after it was awarded an Australian government license from the Northern Territory Racing Commission. According to one estimate, there are over 1.6 million fantasy sports participants in the country.
A statement by Jason Robins said that interest in fantasy sports has grown in Australia over the last few years.
“Within the last few years, Australia’s burgeoning fantasy sports market has dramatically evolved, adding a variety of daily fantasy sports platforms, feeding the appetite of the many passionate sports fans who love getting closer to the teams, athletes and sports they love. Australia is an important market for DraftKings, as it combines devoted sports fans with sophisticated, tech-savvy consumers – exactly the kind of people who love competing on DraftKings.”
In launching in Australia, DraftKings marks their first move outside of North America and Europe. Upon going live, DraftKings will be available in eight countries including Austria, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom. This represents an impressive expansion after the brand originally launched in the United States and Canada. DraftKings will not offer contests to players in South Australia, due to the fact they operate under separate gaming regulations.
With @DraftKings expanding to Australia, the DFS community will flourish. It's a great reward for a relatively small yet passionate supporter base. The fact that I live in SA and will more than likely be exempt from this frustrates me beyond words. Why is this still happening?
— brodie forbes (@brodie_forbes) April 17, 2018
DraftKings Carving Out International DFS Niche
With a footprint in eight different countries, DraftKings is so far the only daily fantasy sports site to have a significant presence outside of the United States and Canada. Two other top DFS providers — FanDuel and Yahoo — have both left the United Kingdom in recent months. Only smaller DFS sites such as PlayON and DraftStars currently accept players from within Australia.
As the DFS site with the most sports offered, Australians will have a large selection of sports to choose from, but probably not all the ones they want. Given DraftKings’ propensity to add contests for new sports, it would not be a big surprise at all to see popular Australian sports such as Australian rules football and rugby added to the mix, especially if Australians respond to the DraftKings product. Perhaps added support could be timed with the launch.
In another positive sign, a ESPN report from earlier this year indicated that DraftKings has shown additional interest in expanding their repertoire of sports.
More US Expansion Next?
In addition to expanding to other countries, DraftKings is betting on expansion in the United States as well.
DraftKings is hoping that a favorable US Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PAPSA).
That decision is expected soon and could not only open up the DFS business for DraftKings but also sports betting partnerships.