Premier Punt is a real money DFS operator based in Scotland that’s making big moves ahead of next season. Founded by John Gordon, Jonathan Warman, Stewart Gove and Andy Daykin it recently went live with its second investment round in order to grow its product ahead of the forthcoming campaign.
Following on from similar topics discussed by the DFS panel at this year’s #bofcon we spoke to Premier Punt Co-Founder and Global Director John Gordon about the impending explosion of DFS in Europe, club partnerships, dealing with sharks and how they’re making moves to appeal to the typical sportsbook punter.
SBC: With an increasing amount of football clubs partnering with a fantasy football operator alongside their betting partners, do you anticipate every major European club having signed a DFS partner within the next few years?
John: Absolutely! It is the way the industry is headed. I see that every club will have an Official Betting Partner and an Official Fantasy Football Partner going forward. We may even see some progress with the lower leagues, but there are tighter restrictions there with Sky Bet and existing gaming rights contracts.
We are bursting to tell you who our partners are for next season but unfortunately we cannot say at this point in time!
SBC: Simplicity seems to be at the heart of the message Premier Punt is trying to get across about its game. How important is simplicity to the product, and why?
John: They used to say “Content is King” but now “Convenience is King.” Making things convenient for the user is what is going to make or break your site or app. Our app lets you choose a team within a matter of seconds, for any single game. In the single games you just choose five players from the 22 in the lineup. No player valuations and no rules, you can choose a team in no time at all.
SBC: As a real money daily fantasy operator do you see yourself competing with just the others in this field for players, or with traditional sports betting operators too?
John: I think our app will bridge the gap between fantasy betting and traditional sportsbook betting. Sportsbook punters like the easy of placing a bet in a matter of seconds. They like the excitement of winning, or losing, in that 90 minute match.
With the single game feature on the app they can do just that, but use their skill to choose 5 players who will perform well to win their money in that single game rather than choosing the result of the match.
We are also launching a pub league which we feel will also appeal to the typical sportsbook punter. We’ll announce the details of this in due course!
SBC: You’ve acquired a UK gambling licence and state that your current investment round funding will be partially used to acquire new licenses. Is this a sign you’ll be moving into new territories? How big is the daily fantasy scene within Europe outside the UK, are we at the forefront?
John: We are currently in talks with many different investors and companies, some overseas and some in the UK.
We’re keeping our options open to add licences to our existing UK Pool Betting Licence, but we also have our sights on the European markets. We are looking to keep one step ahead of the game by providing unique products to the fan.
SBC: One criticism of DFS on a wider scale has been that a very small percentage of players (‘sharks’) win the vast majority of games by utilising data analytical software to gain an advantage. With your tagline of ‘by the players, for the players’ what safeguards and preventative measures do you have in place to place to make it as fair as can be?
John: Firstly we have limited the number of entries per user to three. In addition we have developed a scoring system that is almost identical to that of the Official Barclays Premier League, so we feel that this can give new users a head start though admittedly, this is only an advantage if they have played the official game.
Other systems may have more complicated scoring matrices for the daily and weekly format and for this reason new users may take more time to become competitive.
One key safeguard we’ll be including is that we will be bringing in an ‘Elite’ badge for sharks. We believe this’ll work both ways; we will have weekly games where no Elite members are allowed to participate, but we will also have high-roller Elite games. There will of course be a mixed-bag group too.
SBC: Your app will be coming out prior to the new season, and there’s been talk of a number of innovative new features. Can you tell us about any of these?
John: Without wanting to divulge too much at this time, I suppose what we can say is it will be a free app which will have lots of free games for fans with the chance to win fantastic prizes. Especially so for the clubs that we will be partnering with!