Sorare will not be regulated as gambling

Posted Nov 18, 2022, 4:00 PMUpdated Nov 18, 2022, 5:46 PM

All’s well that ends well between Sorare and the National Gaming Authority (ANJ). After lengthy discussions, the two parties reached a provisional agreement, allowing the French unicorn to continue its activity without complying with the restrictive gambling regulations.

To reach this compromise, Sorare has undertaken to strengthen its free offer before the end of the first quarter of 2023. “It’s a short-term solution that satisfies us”, rejoices Nicolas Julia, the boss of the young company that he co-founded in 2018. “On the side of the ANJ, there was a request for an evolution of our free offer. It corresponds to our long-term vision, we have 90% free players at the moment anyway”. A few days ago, Sorare had just announced the launch of a new free offer within the framework of the Football World Cup, called “Global Cup” and bringing together (virtual) players from 18 national teams.

A “transitional but essential” step

Sorare, which publishes a “fantasy football” game based on virtual cards (NFT), has been under scrutiny by the regulator in recent months. Players have the opportunity to buy cards and then access tournaments giving them the right to rewards, particularly in cryptocurrencies. An activity likely to “give rise to the hope of a gain”, while a “financial sacrifice” is required of the players, these two elements associated constituting a gambling activity. For his part, Sorare argued that the cards bought by the players, once played, were never lost, and had disputed any notion of “bet” or “financial sacrifice”.

By strengthening its free offer, the company therefore satisfies the regulator, who “will put in place an ad hoc control system” to verify its implementation. “This response constitutes a transitional but essential step before the adoption of a lasting solution”, nevertheless warns the ANJ in a press release. This will pass “by an adaptation of the legislation to bring these new activities relating to Web3 within the framework of the regulation operated by the ANJ but with specific methods”.

Although no precise timetable has been set, a working mission is underway on the side of the public authorities, while discussions are continuing between the management of Sorare and various ministries. “Everyone agrees that we need to build a short-term framework for Web3 and Web3 gaming,” says Nicolas Julia, delighted to “see how innovation is supported in France”. The icing on the cake, this decision of the ANJ could find an echo in the United Kingdom, where the activity of Sorare is also examined by the authorities.

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