Sorare in the crosshairs of the National Gaming Authority (ANJ)? According to a report from our colleagues at BFM, the French unicorn has received a warning. What could this mean for the future of the company?
Sorare accused of offering sports betting
The warning would be a first step for the National Gaming Authority. It officially asks Sorare to prove that its platform does not offer disguised sports betting. As a reminder, Sorare works by offering cards – in the form of NFTs – that allow their holders to participate in virtual tournaments.
The cards gain and lose value based on the player’s performance in real life. This link with “real” players is the point that has raised questions from the French authority, which sees it as a hijacked betting system. Users must indeed pay to access the game, and hope to win money, according to Frederic Guerchoun, who was interviewed by BFM :
“For a gambling game to exist, there must be an offer made to the public, a gain in kind or in cash, as well as a financial sacrifice. In our opinion, the financial sacrifice as understood by the jurisprudence is an expense. In the case of Sorare, it is imperative to buy cards to participate.
Sorare, of course, defends itself from this interpretation. The company argues that the users’ “bets” are in no way linked to real matches, and that it is therefore nonsense to consider them as sports bets. Moreover, unlike a bet, the user keeps the assets he has committed (the NFTs) and can put them back into play:
“When a Sorare card is played in our fantasy game, it is never lost. This card can be played 1 time or 500 times, in the first season as well as in the tenth season”.
What would it change for Sorare?
Still, it could represent a nice thorn in Sorare’s side. The French unicorn, which has experienced a meteoric rise in the last year, has recently signed some very big names in soccer, such as Kylian Mbappé, or more recently Zinedine Zidane. This obviously attracts the attention of the regulator.
If the ANJ considers that the platform actually offers sports betting, the consequences could be heavy for Sorare. The company would face a much less advantageous tax system… And it would have to strengthen its registration process, as sports betting is particularly regulated in France. Moreover, this would make it fall de facto in the same court as big competitors, which even if they don’t offer the same services have particularly sharp marketing teams.
For the moment, Sorare has not officially communicated on the subject. However, we will follow the outcome of this case, which could well come to disrupt a particularly dynamic sector of cryptocurrencies.