HomeInsightsGambling Commission warns fantasy football organisers not to get caught out by gambling rules


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With the next football season around the corner, organisers of fantasy football leagues are being reminded by the Gambling Commission to ensure that they are not caught out by gambling rules.

The Commission explains that the risk for those organising fantasy football leagues is that it could require a pool betting licence from the Gambling Commission, as prize values are determined by the number of paying entrants. The exception to this is where it is not run in the course of a business, or where it is run privately, for example with residents of the same premises or between work colleagues.

One area that organisers are being told to be particularly aware of is advertising and social media.

When it comes to gambling, advertising includes doing anything that encourages someone to gamble or provides information about gambling facilities to increase use. This includes Twitter or Facebook posts, whether public or private, or within groups.

Promoting a fantasy football league in this way could mean it is being operated in the course of a business and will need an operating licence.

Ben Haden, programme director at the Gambling Commission, said: “Fantasy football is no doubt a popular pastime for many during football season and many will be thinking about setting up their own league this summer. We want to ensure that those organising these leagues – whether it’s between friends, work colleagues or otherwise – are aware of the legalities and do not breach gambling rules.

The Gambling Commission is encouraging organisers of fantasy football leagues or any fantasy competition involving other sports to read the advice on its website. To read the Gambling Commission’s press release, click here.