The UK Gambling Commission has reminded consumers that the NFT fantasy football platform Sorare is not licensed by the gambling regulator.
The Commission is investigating whether the services offered by Sorare fall within its jurisdiction.
Sorare has stated that it has received assurances from legal experts that it does not offer any form of regulated gambling.
Fantasy football platform Sorare, which operates non-fungible tokens (NFTs), is facing scrutiny from the UK gambling watchdog.
A consumer information notice from the UK Gambling Commission clarifies that the platform is not licensed by the regulator.
“This means that any activity completed by UK consumers on the site is outside the gambling regulations that licensed operators are supposed to comply with,” the notice said.
The regulator also revealed that it is currently conducting an “investigation” into the company to determine whether its services fall within the jurisdiction of the Gambling Commission.
“The Gambling Commission is currently investigating the company to determine whether Sorare.com requires a licence to operate, or whether the services it provides do not constitute gambling,” the notice said.
Sorare is growing fast as the NFT space explodes. By 2021, it said it was profitable.In 2020, the company raised $4 million in seed funding, followed by a $5o million Series A round and a $680 million Series B round led by SoftBank in 2021.
The platform enables football fans to trade NFT cards of popular players powered by the ethereum blockchain. It operates much like other fantasy sports sites. Over 120 football clubs have launched player NFTs on the platform.
While the platform doesn’t have any explicit gambling features, the price of a player NFT can be driven by a team’s performance. This allows users to speculate based on match performance.
It is unclear whether this amounts to gambling in the eyes of the Gambling Commission.In 2017, the Gambling Commission warned organisers of fantasy football that they may need a pool betting licence from the regulator. In this case, private pools and pools that do not operate in the course of business are exempt. According to the commission’s website, the notice was updated on February 8, 2021, although it’s unclear what the content has changed.
Sorare told us in a statement that regulatory issues are expected due to the nascent nature of the technology, and Sorare said it is “very confident” that it does not offer any form of regulated gambling.
“This has been confirmed by expert legal advice at every stage since the company’s inception, including during several fundraising rounds,” a representative for Sorare told us in a statement.” We will always be in contact and open dialogue with authorities who approach us to learn about our games.”