On October 8, the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission has released a statement, informing the public that blockchain-based fantasy football game Sorare lacks a UK gambling license. The announcement was made in a consumer information notice on the regulator’s official website.
The UKGC Targets Sorare
The UKGC started the notice by saying that “it has come to its attention that the football-themed website, Sorare.com, is available to consumers in Great Britain” but lacks a license for operating on the British market, which sparked concerns among the UKGC.
“This means 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 regulator explained.
The commission added that it will now investigate “whether Sorare.com requires an operating license or whether the services it provides do not constitute gambling”. In the meantime, it urged British players to consider this information, be vigilant and use Sorare at their own risk.
The notice didn’t have the reception that the UKGC expected as fans of fantasy football ridiculed the regulator’s actions.
Fantasy Football Fans Are Unamused
The reason for this reaction is primarily the fact that Sorare has been operational in the United Kingdom since 2019 and claiming that the UKGC just established this seems incredulous to sports fans. Many commented that this is a pseudo-action to make it look like the commission is busy.
This disgruntlement largely comes from fantasy sports fans who are unhappy with the fall of the UK-licensed alternative, Football Index, which was embroiled in a massive scandal. They believe that this is something the UKGC’s inaction was largely responsible for. With no other officially recognized fantasy football outlets available, users have turned to Sorare and are wary of the UKGC’s notice against it.
“Hi guys, thanks for your tweet, brilliant news, what a way to end the week. I’m absolutely ecstatic that Sorare isn’t regulated by you because that means it will be regulated by someone else who is actually competent. In fact, I’m going to deposit more now. Cheers guys,” one Twitter commenter said.
In the official notice, the UKGC said it will refrain from commenting on the matter before it has been resolved.
The United Kingdom is the fifth-biggest market for Sorare in terms of total players but the first in terms of fan engagement. According to statistics, British Sorare players spend a daily average of 1 hour and 25 minutes on the fantasy sports platform.
Building a Global Fantasy Platform
Sorare was developed in 2018 by Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort. It uses blockchain technology based on Ethereum. The Ethereum blockchain network assures secure ownership and distribution of cards and proves their scarcity.
Sorare was released to the public in 2019 which is also when it became available on the British market. Since its inception, the fantasy football game has grown significantly, scoring partnership deals with some notable football teams, including Bayern Munich, Juventus, Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan.
In July, Sorare acquired a $532-million investment that it will use to boost the quality of its offerings. The funding round was led by the Japanese investment company SoftBank.