The legal status of fantasy football in Great BritainBeth French
As the English Premier League (EPL) enters its 9th game week for the 2017-2018 season, fantasy football league players across the country may be feeling the strain of many a real-life manager. Others are reaping the benefits of sticking with savvy selections at the outset, with Harry Kane scoring 6 goals in the month of September (compared to the 0 he scored in August), and Swansea's Fabianski making it three clean sheets in the last four1.
But what about the organisers of fantasy football leagues? A recent warning2 by the British Gambling Commission has given all organisers reason to reflect on whether their operations comply with gambling laws. Specifically, they must assess whether their activities fall within the definition of “betting” under the terms of the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act) (thus constituting a regulated activity, requiring of a licence); or, fall outside of the scope of the Act.
This article examines the current dynamic between fantasy football leagues and British gambling laws, looking specifically at:
The recent warning from the British Gambling Commission;
How the betting is defined under the Act, including its specific section on fantasy competitions;
How organisers of fantasy football leagues can ensure they stay onside with regulation.
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- British Gambling Commission | English Premier League | Fantasy Football | Gambling | Gambling Act 2005 | Great Britain | United Kingdom (UK) | Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIEGA)
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About the Author
Beth is a trainee solicitor at Wiggin and works within the Betting and Gaming group focusing on regulatory and commercial matters. She advises on a broad range of issues to industry stakeholders including licensing, compliance, advertising and sponsorship. Prior to joining Wiggin, Beth worked in-house for an online betting and gaming operator.