Is Sorare’s dazzling growth under threat? However, the $4.3 billion French company is under scrutiny from the National Gaming Authority (ANJ), which is trying to characterize its online game of a new genre launched in 2019 . On the platform, players can use virtual cards in the form of NFTs (non-fungible tokens, “non-fungible tokens”, unique digital assets traded online) that correspond to athletes and whose value evolves according to their real-life performance. Purchases can be made in cryptocurrencies (Ether, above all).
So it is up to the youngster to prove by the start of the 2022 school year that it is not a sports betting platform. “The ANJ will meet with representatives from Sorare in early September”declares, to World, Frédéric Guerchoun, legal director of the agency, confirmed information from BFM Business on Friday 29 July. “The ANJ reacted very quickly. It’s still a confidential market, but it’s a whole new use.”observes Julien Pillot, professor of digital economics at the National Institute of Advanced Economic and Commercial Studies.
Sorare, which today has around 100 employees and 137,000 players with at least one card worldwide, has close ties to the world of sport, as evidenced by its partnerships with the newspaper The team or with stars like Kylian Mbappé or Zinédine Zidane, and building very active communities of players from poker or sports betting.
“When a company invents a new model based on a new technology and succeeds, it’s no surprise that it raises questions.”, responded to LinkedIn co-founder Nicolas Julia. The start-up announces this World do not want to comment publicly on private barter transactions. When Mr. Julia recognizes the need to establish rules for his activity, he believes that these should not be those of gambling: “What Sorare and many French and European actors are proposing is a new model that does not fit into any existing framework. »
Concept of “financial sacrifice”
In Switzerland, however, Sorare’s offer is considered gambling and has been temporarily banned since September 2021. In October, the British online gambling regulator opened an investigation against the company for the same reasons. In France, the internal security code defines gambling and games of chance “all operations offered to the public, under whatever name, to arouse the hope of some gain, also partly due to chance, and for which a financial sacrifice is required of those involved” (Item L320-1). However, speculation directly tied to player performance – which is based on chance – actually seems to lead to an expectation of winning.
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