International edition
October 19, 2021

Digital collectible cards and games

Fantasy soccer NFT platform Sorare under UKGC's probe, denies gambling activities

Fantasy soccer NFT platform Sorare under UKGC's probe, denies gambling activities
Sorare's website.
United Kingdom | 10/12/2021

The regulatory entity seeks to determine whether the Ethereum-powered brand's services constitute gambling, as it does not have a license to operate in the country under that concept. The UKGC advised consumers to consider this information when deciding whether or not to interact with the site, given the fact that it has not yet been decided whether or not these activities are outside the gambling regulations.

T

he Ethereum-powered NFT (non-fungible token) platform Sorare is under investigation by the UK Gambling Commission, the country’s regulators. 

The Paris-based company’s website is currently available to consumers in Great Britain even though it is not licensed by the UKGC. This implies that any activity completed on the site by consumers in Great Britain is outside of the gambling regulations that a licensed operator should comply with.  

The UKGC said in a statement: “Consumers are being advised to consider this information when deciding whether or not to interact with the site”. Sorare replied to it by saying that “when a product with a nascent technology becomes successful, it is normal and expected to be [subject to] regulatory questions”. 


Sorare's La Liga NFT cards

The Commission said the investigation will determine whether Sorare requires an operating license or if the services it provides do not constitute gambling. While the company does not offer any traditional forms of sports gambling, the speculative nature of their digital trading cards, whose values are largely driven by player performance, skirt the line of categorization. 

"We are very confident Sorare does not offer any forms of regulated gambling. This has been confirmed by expert legal opinions at every stage since the company was founded, including during a number of fundraising rounds. We will always engage and have an open dialogue with authorities who reach out to us to learn more about our game. We believe this is the responsible way to grow our game and community globally", the company stated. 

The Non-Fungible Token-based company raised $680 million last month, as it seeks a rights deal with the Premier League to add to an existing deal with La Liga in Spain and individual agreements with football clubs such as Liverpool. Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Boca Juniors, Inter Milan and AC Milan. 

In what is marketed as a free game, Sorare users can pick player cards, which are NFTs of varying rarity, and can assemble teams to compete in ‘five-a-side’ fantasy sports tournaments to win prizes, including more valuable NFTs.

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