Scotland business

FanDuel set to launch fantasy football in UK

English Premier League action Image copyright Reuters
Image caption FanDuel said its new fantasy football platform would focus on the English Premier League

A Scottish tech company which became a major player in the US fantasy sports market is set to make its UK debut.

FanDuel said it would launch a new fantasy football platform in early August after striking a partnership deal with sports data provider Opta.

Under the deal, Opta will provide live performance statistics for FanDuel, which was set up in Edinburgh in 2009.

Details of the new platform have yet to be unveiled but FanDuel said it would focus on the English Premier League.

It marks FanDuel's first foray outside the North American market.

The company has offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow but moved its headquarters to New York several years ago.

It became one of the two giants of the fantasy sports sector, along with US-based Draft Kings.

FanDuel now lays claim to six million registered users across the US and Canada.

Its technology platform has allowed fans of the four main American sports to pick fantasy teams from real players, and follow their performances.

However, fantasy sports companies in the US have faced legal challenges from state regulators and legislators, who have argued that the online games are based on chance rather than skill.

'First step'

In a statement, FanDuel said it was ready to take "the first step in international expansion plans" by launching in the UK in early August.

Karol Corcoran, director of international marketing at FanDuel, said: "We are thrilled to be working with Opta, they're a world-leader in their field.

"Their expertise and data will add to the excitement of our live game experience, letting users watch their fantasy team rack up points as the real games play out on the pitch.

"Opta's stats also play a critical role in our unique scoring system, which considers the contribution of every player on the pitch, not just those who score goals - ensuring a more realistic and compelling reflection of the on-field action."

He added: "Our team has spent a lot of time on developing the right product for the UK's football fans and we've already had a lot of positive feedback from users during our beta contest phase, which was rolled out during the 2016 Euros.

"We can't wait to bring the full product to market."

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