The Gambling Commission has warned UK consumers that the fantasy football collecting and trading website Sorare may be outside of gambling regulations.
The situation today is that anyone, as long as they are of a legal age, can go to a casino and put their entire life savings on the spin of a roulette wheel. However, perish the thought that they go to a website and buy or trade fantasy football cards.
The mere fact that Sorare employs a cryptocurrency with which to trade and buy the cards has been enough to raise the suspicions of regulators.
The press release from the Gambling Commission does not actually say that Sorare’s activities constitute gambling, it just says that it will investigate into whether it does constitute gambling, and if it does, then it will require a gambling license, and to be registered with the Commission.
It further advises consumers to “consider this information when deciding whether or not to interact with the site.”
Sorare raised $50 million back in February and has plans to onboard all the world’s top 20 football leagues. It has taken a football game that first became popular in newspapers, and has made it into a global phenomenon.
The fantasy football card platform has expressed surprise at the Gambling Commission response, saying that legal opinions had been sought at every stage of the platform’s growth since its inception.
A spokesperson for the platform said:
“we are very confident Sorare does not offer any forms of regulated gambling. 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,”
On the subject of gambling itself, it appears to be a sector ripe for disruption by cryptocurrencies. Smart contracts allow all possible outcomes to be catered for, and to enable any regulatory requirements to be built in from the beginning.
Existing gambling venues such as casinos and on-line gambling websites must be very worried indeed about cryptocurrencies that focus on this sector. Their ability to completely sidestep middlemen and introduce a fair and unmanipulable playing field could spell out the end for most of the existing gambling infrastructure.
If this is the case for casinos and other gambling venues then it could be imagined that existing regulatory bodies that oversee the sector would be able to slim down their own infrastructure considerably into the bargain. Let us hope that the Gambling Commission is fortunate enough to spend far less on its future activities.