Daily fantasy sports (DFS) giant DraftKings is to expand its contests across Europe after securing a new gaming licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).

The Controlled Skill Games Licence will facilitate the company's expansion beyond its core US market, and comes almost a year after it launched its offering in the United Kingdom. 

"We are excited to embark on this important phase of our international expansion," DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins said. "We are pleased that Malta has recognized the need for special licensing of daily fantasy sports and other skilled based games.

"The Malta Gaming Authority is an innovative organization and it is clear that they have put a lot of thought and rigor into this process."

By securing the approval, DraftKings becomes one of the MGA's first skill games licensees following the introduction of specific regulations for the vertical late last year.

These came into force following a European Commission-mandated standstill period that ended in November 2016. The legislation introduces a series of integrity and player protection controls for operators, as well as a 5 per cent gross gaming revenue tax.

"Malta's intention to regulate digital skill games with a prize was first announced in December 2014 when the MGA published a consultation document," MGA executive chairman Joseph Cuschieri explained. "From then onwards, the MGA sought the input of various industry stakeholders and experts in order to develop a framework which facilitates the development of the sector, while ensuring adequate protection for players and fairness of the games."

Having begun its expansion plans with its entry to the UK market, DraftKings will now launch DFS contests in Malta and other markets via its new licence during the current quarter.



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