Games using blockchain technology no longer to be classed as gambling in France
France is moving forward with a change to its laws that will mean games based on blockchain technology and using NFTs (non-fungible tokens) will no longer be classified as gambling.
In an amendment that is likely to have significant implications across the crypto casino industry, it remains to be seen whether other countries could follow in the footsteps of France.
The so-called Sorare Law – which is named after the NFT fantasy gaming platform Sorare – has been given the green light in France, meaning that this type of game will not be considered a part of the gambling ecosystem in the country.
When a vote on the introduction of the new legislation was held recently in the National Assembly in France, a large majority of 437 votes were in favour and just 77 were against.
NFT and blockchain games are being described by the upcoming change to the law in France as “games with monetisable digital objects”. The potential upgrade to gambling legislation in the European country is now set to go in front of the Constitutional Council for its next stage.
However, in the bill it says that the change to the categorisation of games based on blockchain technology and using NFTs will be made on a temporary basis. An assessment will be made on the success of the move after a period of three years, if the change to the law is passed. A progress report will also be put together in the first 18 months in order to assess the change.
Winnings on such games must be exclusively comprised of digital objects that are not able to be exchanged for fiat currencies in any way. This ensures that the games will not need to come under the jurisdiction of France’s gaming regulator, the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ).
As crypto casinos allow players to withdraw winnings in fiat currencies, the impending change to French gambling regulations could prompt operators to consider a rethink in the country.
France is also aiming to rein in influencers as part of its revamp of the online gambling industry.
The country will require NFT and blockchain gaming platforms to carry out stringent age verification checks to make sure that games cannot be accessed by anyone under the age of 18. Influencers will not be able to promote games if such platforms cannot exclude minors.
Recent data found that the French market saw a gross gaming revenue in excess of five billion euros over the first half of 2023, chalked up to growth in sports betting and poker.