US betting giant DraftKings has pulled back its daily fantasy sports (DFS) offering in four major European markets.
An update emailed to the company’s customers explained that its DFS operations in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Malta would be closed from 22 January onwards.
DFS is one of DraftKings flagship product areas, initially starting solely as a fantasy sports-oriented provider back in 2012, before moving into sports betting in 2018 following the repeal of PASPA.
DraftKings’ update to its European customers explained: “We are reaching out to let you know that beginning on 22 January 2023, we will no longer be offering daily fantasy sports contests in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Malta.
“Since DraftKings launch in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Malta in 2017, we have been proud to be a part of those countries’ passionate sports and daily fantasy sports fanbases.”
From 22 January onwards, DraftKings’ customers in the aforementioned four countries will be unable to deposit or withdraw from their DFS accounts.
The company informed its customers that the ‘Crowns’, ‘DK Dollars’ and ‘Contest Tickets’ used as currency within the games would be converted to USD on 18 January upon withdrawal, subject to the conversion rate on this date.
DraftKings added that it encourages all customers to initiate a withdrawal request ‘as soon as possible’, as it will not be able to process any withdrawals after 22 January.
Once this date passes, the firm will be required to hand over any remaining funds from its inactive DFS accounts to the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), with which it is licenced for European business.
Founded in Boston, Massachusetts and registered on the US Nasdaq since April 2020, DraftKings has maintained interest in European markets for some time despite its focus being predominantly on US markets.
As well as offering its DFS product in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Malta, DraftKings has sought to build up brand awareness in other markets, such as in the UK via a sponsorship deal with Norwich City, last year.
Of greatest significance, however, was the firm’s publicly declared interest in acquiring global gaming group Entain, the Isle of Man-based operator of the widely recognised Ladbrokes, Coral and bwin sportsbook brands.