Sorare, the collectable NFT football game, will expand free-to-play access on its platform in response to concerns by French gambling authority l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ).
Since March, ANJ had scrutinised Sorare due to concerns about its NFT platform’s legibility to maintain customer protections, underage gaming and money laundering risks.
Founded in 2018, Sorare is an Ethereum blockchain-built football game that allows players to buy, sell and trade ‘NFT football cards’ to manage their fantasy teams competing in leagues, tournaments and head-to-head matches.
The platform allows players to buy-and-sell NFT football cards using the SOR token, an in-game currency compatible with the Ethereum blockchain, which allows players to monetise their performance.
Furthermore, players can risk their NFT cards by entering leagues, tournaments and head-to-head matches, game dynamics that brought close comparisons with gambling.
An evaluation by the ANJ’s board had outlined ‘serious doubts’ that existing regulation could apply to Sorare’s offering, which required safeguards.
On Friday, the ANJ notified that Sorare “responded to this request by proposing a solution that strengthens free access to these tournaments, a solution based on a possibility offered by positive law.”
ANJ accepted Sorare’s decision to expand free-to-play access on its platform as a “transitional but essential step”. However, the authority noted that “legislation and specific modalities” will be required for new Web-3-related games to be regulated under a specific framework.
Sorare has been given until 31 March to provide a comprehensive free-to-play service on its platform or face regulatory penalties.
The ANJ concluded, “The solution adopted constitutes a necessary regulatory response to the offer proposed by Sorare and, more generally, to the emergence of new comparable offers, with a view to effectively protecting the public but also to supporting innovation.”