By request French National Gambling Authority (ANJ), NFT fantasy gaming platform Sorare agreed to adapt its blockchain-enabled NFT games by March 31, 2023.
The news comes after extensive discussions since March 2021 over ANJ’s concerns about the lack of rules for web3-enabled gaming offerings such as Sorare’s offerings. ANJ wants to protect the public from excessive gambling, protect minors, and enforce anti-money laundering regulations.
The blockchain fantasy football game Sorare allows players to buy, sell and trade virtual teams represented by digital player cards. NFTs are priced in ETH but can be bought and sold for fiat or cryptocurrencies. The game itself is free, as are some common cards that can be used in certain games, but they don’t cost anything financially. But the more desirable NFT cards for players can be very expensive. Buying an NFT for a decent quality fantasy team can cost a player hundreds of euros.
French startup web3 has seen tremendous growth since its launch in 2018, raising $680 million. in Series B funding and cooperates with more than 300 sports teams and organizations, including La Liga, Bundesligaas well as Serie A in football and NBA as well as MLB.
The solution proposed by Sorare would be to amend the game’s free-to-play offering so that it goes into effect on the agreed timeframe. In the meantime, ANJ will implement controls to ensure compliance by Sorare by March 31st. Failure to meet this deadline will result in ANJ exercising its regulatory powers. He also plans to update the rules to account for web3 activity.
In response to ANJ’s announcement, the game company said in a statement: “Sorare, at the request of the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), has decided to temporarily change its offering, opening up new gaming options for free users. This development is part of the company’s roadmap to create an inclusive ecosystem.”
He continued: “To make the development of these innovations possible in France, ANJ agrees on the importance of creating a long-term regulatory framework adapted to this new situation. Sorare shares this urgent need and is committed to working with all stakeholders, including ANJ, to define this new structure.”
Since Sorare is one of the pioneers of this innovation in Europe, ANJ is not the only regulator knocking on Sorare’s door. Last year UK Gambling Commission published a notice that Sorare was not licensed by the Commission and launched an investigation. Since then, however, the Commission has remained silent on the matter.