Fantasy football organisers have been warned against breaking UK gambling laws ahead of the new Premier League season by the Gambling Commission.
The regulator said the risk for those organising fantasy football leagues is that they could require a pool 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 to avoid being caught out is advertising and social media.
The Gambling Commission said advertising, when it comes to gambling, includes “doing anything that encourages someone to gamble, or provides information about gambling facilities so that it will increase use”. It said this also 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 needs an operating licence, the Commission said.
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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