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UK Gambling Commission warns fantasy football operators

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UK Gambling Commission has issued an industry-wide guidance warning to Fantasy football operators in the UK ahead of the start of the new football season.

It urges firms offering fantasy football leagues to make sure that their leagues, prizes and promotions are compliant with current UK gambling legislation, while advising firms to check whether or not they need to obtain a pool licence from the UKGC.

Current regulations state that a pool licence is required when firms take fees from players participating in fantasy football leagues, with the exception to this being when this is not run for business purposes for example between work colleagues.

The UKGC have also advised operators to focus on their social media exposure, particularly in the areas of advertising that encourages some to gamble or posts/media which provide information about gambling facilities/activities with the aim of increasing use, including Twitter and Facebook.

In a statement on the UKGC website, 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.”

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