Sorare, an NFT-based fantasy football game, has responded to an investigation by the UK’s Gambling Commission.
On the Sorare website users can buy, trade and exchange NFT based video clips of game highlights and football cards to build a fantasy team.
Sorare has denied that activities on its website constitute gambling after the UK’s gambling watchdog announced it would carry out enquiries into the matter last week to determine whether the platform needs an operating licence.
A spokesperson wrote “we are very confident Sorare does not offer any forms of regulated gambling.”
The company stated that multiple legal opinions had been sought on the matter at every stage since the company was founded.
“When a product with a nascent technology becomes successful, such as Sorare’s digital collectable cards and game, it is normal and expected to be regulatory questions,” a company spokesperson continued, calling for an “open dialogue” with authorities.
It comes as Sorare has experienced rapid momentum in recent months with the platform’s user base growing to more than 600,000 and sales volumes topping $150m since the start of the year. The success of the platform has been spurred by the explosion of the NFT market which saw sales volumes top $10.7bn (£7.8bn) in the third quarter of 2021.
Most recently, Sorare has announced partnerships with Spain’s La Liga and the top two divisions of the German Bundesliga. The deals bring Sorare a step closer to its ambition of securing deals with the biggest 20 football leagues worldwide with the platform branching out to create tradable NFT football highlights as part of the Bundesliga deal.
The rapid expansion of the company has clearly caught the attention of regulators in Britain. In a statement last week the Gambling Commission warned users 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.”
It seems not everyone is sold on the concept with Max Heinemeyer, Director of Threat Hunting at Darktrace, recently warning that security remains a major concern.
“While NFTs are easy to purchase, they are notoriously complex to secure,” said Heinmeyer. “Individual investors may not understand the risk or how to secure NFT football cards properly, which is something cyber criminals will take advantage of.”