French unicorn Sorare is suspected of being a betting site in disguise

Yellow card for Sorare. The Gaming Authority (ANJ) sends an initial warning to the startup and its business model, which could well falter. France’s Sports Betting and Gambling Constable is urging the platform to prove by the autumn that it is not operating as a sports betting site in disguise.

Currently its users are buying digitized soccer player cards thanks to the Sorare application Blockchain which guarantees its authenticity. The value of these cards evolves according to the tournaments that the user loses or wins on the platform. The outcome of the tournaments themselves is determined by the real-world performances of the footballers whose cards are being held.

Speculation on gambling?

Users therefore speculate on the upward or downward trend of their soccer card according to the player’s real life sporting performance, subject to chance. Finally they can resell their cards like we once exchanged Panini stickers or Pokémon cards. With the hope of winning over theirs initial investment”.

Regarding these aspects, the National Gaming Authority has doubts about the nature of the company’s operations. If Sorare failed to dispel the ANJ’s doubts and the ANJ considered them eventually As a sports betting tool, the young scion introduced in 2019 should then be regulated just as strictly as sports betting providers such as the industry leaders in France Winamax, Unibet and Betclic. This means that Sorare would have to face higher taxes, tighter controls over its activities, the flow of funds and the identities of its users, and most importantly, ban access by minors. That’s a significant portion of his audience.

So far, Sorare’s model has been an overwhelming success with more than 1.8 million users, a profitable activity since June (which is not so common in the startup world). The resounding success in less than three years after the activity started in 2019 has attracted many investors. On his list: the biggest fundraiser ever in France at $680 million.

M’Bappé as investor and ambassador

The paid game is so popular that football stars are fans of it, including Frenchmen Antoine Griezmann and Kylian M’Bappé. The two stars of French football have even become investors and ambassadors in the case of Kylian M’Bappé. Major leagues such as the prestigious Spanish Liga, German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A as well as historic clubs have partnered with Sorare to convert their squads into digital Sorare cards.

The Sorare attraction now extends well beyond the bounds of the green rectangle, which is now headquartered in New York. On the American market, the French nugget has just announced a partnership with the American baseball league MLB. It remains to be seen whether pressure from the French betting cop will weigh on Sorare’s scintillating expansion, which is the subject of a warning and a similar investigation by UK betting regulators.