FanDuel, DraftKings to Nix Ontario DFS Over CDN$100,000 Registration Fee, 25% Tax

  • FanDuel’s DFS will be off-limits to Ontarians from April 1, DraftKings’ from April 4
  • The FSGA said Ontario regulations make DFS “impossible” for most operators
  • DFS firms must pay a heavy reg fee and 25% tax, both near double that of any US state
  • The FSGA estimates that two million DFS players in Ontario will lose access
Toronto skyline
April 4, a happy day for Ontario residents as iGaming and sports betting launches, has been somewhat soured by news FanDuel and DraftKings will leave the province’s DFS market. [Image:]

Two DFS giants pulling out

A regulated iGaming and sports betting market will launch in Ontario April 4, and FanDuel and DraftKings have both announced they are pulling their Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games out of the Canadian province.

changes in government regulations”

FanDuel confirmed its decision to exit Ontario’s paid or free DFS market last week. The sports wagering giant cited “changes in government regulations” as its reason for withdrawal, which will occur on April 1.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Covers cited a message from DraftKings customer support confirming it will also shutter its DFS in Ontario the day it launches sports wagering and iGaming in the province on April 4.

FSGA highlights the issue

The Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association (FSGA) took to Twitter on Tuesday to argue that government regulations have made running DFS games in Ontario “impossible” for most operators:

In an official statement, the FSGA highlighted the current regulations from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) that are triggering the exodus of DFS operators. They include a CDN$100,000 ($79,979) registration fee and 25% revenue tax, which according to the FSGA are “both almost double the rate of any US state.”

the largest operators can no longer offer contests”

“Paid fantasy sports contests operate differently than sports betting, iGaming or brick-and-mortar casinos, with low margins and player pools from multiple jurisdictions,” the FSGA asserted. “Ontario’s fees and regulations are large enough, however, that even the largest operators can no longer offer contests in the province.”

The FSGA estimates that two million DFS players in Ontario will get frozen out of the market because of these rules. It has urged its members and players to take action by contacting elected officials in Ontario and voicing their concerns.

Twitter responds

Judging by the reaction on Twitter, DFS players are not happy. User Bull Gates took fire at Ontario Premier Doug Ford, saying “congrats on ruining DFS […] anything else you can take that people enjoy might as well do it.”

Referencing FanDuel’s and DraftKings’ exit, executive director of Toronto-based non-profit Ensemble, Curtis Gero, asked the AGCO via Twitter: “What is this nonsense?”

On its website, FanDuel tried to provide some positives, confirming that at least Ontarians will get to access its sportsbook and iGaming products on April 4. DraftKings took an almost identical tack, adding that users can continue to play DFS “when located in other Canadian provinces or US states.”

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