Efforts to take daily fantasy sports to Europe have remained niche so far

Start-up Global Daily Fantasy Sports Takes Over Mondogoal, Including Deals With Lottomatica, Sisal In Italy

Italy daily fantasy sports
Global Daily Fantasy Sports Inc. announced that it purchased fellow DFS operator Mondogoal, giving the start-up immediate access to the Italian regulated market.

Global DFS, Mondogoal and Italy

The move to purchase Mondogoal gives Global DFS relationships with two of the largest gaming brands in Italy: Lottomatica and Sisal.

Mondogoal had entered into deals with both last year. It then closed its consumer-facing operations in December to pivot entirely to business-to-business operations.

Global DFS is a B2B company that offers a DFS platform to existing online sportsbooks, gaming operators, or anyone else who wants to have a real-money DFS product.

For now, Global DFS will simply operate Mondogoal’s platform before transitioning to use of its own software.

“Acquiring the Mondogoal operating assets and signing a new agreement with both Sisal and Lottomatica provide ‘Global’ with an immediate presence in a regulated market that we’ve identified as critical to the growth of our network,” Global DFS COO Justin Shulman told Legal Sports Report.

“We look forward to creating unique offerings built specifically for the Italian market together with two of Italy’s most established iGaming brands.”

More on gaming and DFS

Combined, Lottomatica and Sisal accounted for 14 percent of the Italian online sports betting market in 2016, according to Global DFS, giving it access to a player database that may be interested in fantasy. (It’s interesting to note that Lottomatica parent company IGT has been pushing against US legislation that calls DFS something other than a gaming product.)

More importantly, the move indicates that at least some gaming operators are still eyeing the future of DFS.

“The first year has been very challenging and, at the same time, important for us in order to understand customers’ needs and behavior,” said Ignazio di Lauro, Sisal head of sportsbook.

“We believe in the growth of the DFS sector in Italy and Sisal has to be ready to reach this opportunity. With Lottomatica, we built the largest DFS network in Italy and our objective is to keep growing together.”

Europe and DFS

The idea that daily fantasy sports would start penetrating Europe in a meaningful way has been around for several years. To date, it still exists as a niche product in some European markets, although it hasn’t been for lack of effort:

Those in the DFS space would offer that efforts in Europe have only been going on in earnest for a few years, meaning it still has plenty of time and room to grow. DFS has been around for about a decade in the US.

Will we see Global DFS or other similar products — B2B or consumer-facing — gaining traction across the Atlantic? The hope for Global is that leveraging existing gaming operators is the way forward for DFS outside of the US. Only time will tell if that path is the correct one.

Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.