3 min read

Premier League’s Pending NFT License Faces Scrutiny


The Premier League has shortlisted four potential partner companies currently bidding for its NFT license; however, the shortlisting of contender Sorare who is currently facing inquiries from the UK gambling commission, has led to further scrutiny of the prospective partnership.

The deal, which offers returns between £220 million (AUD$414 million) – £434 million (AUD$816 million), will see the successful bidder receive the Premier League’s digital collectables and reportedly gain an official license to produce a range of blockchain based products, including NFT-based player cards.

The Premier League is said to be in its last stages of decision making, with Candy Digital, Dapper Labs, Cosensay, and Sorare being reported as the final bidders.

Sorare’s consideration for the deal has raised concerns due to the platform currently facing an inquiry from the UK gambling commission.

Sorare, which recently raised US$680 million (AUD$941.7 million) through series B funding, is a fantasy football game platform, based around blockchain, where users can trade NFTs, enter tournaments, and compete for monetary prizes.

The platform uses Ethereum as its transaction currency and has signed with 177 clubs to create a range of digital player cards used in its player’s fantasy football leagues.

The UK’s gambling commission’s investigation into the platform began in October 2021 due to the platform operating within the UK without a gambling license.

The commission said operating without a gambling license leaves Great Britain users unprotected as their activity on the site falls outside the gambling regulations a licensed operator would comply with.

The investigation is currently exploring if Sorare’s services constitute gambling and if it needs a license to operate.

Sorare released a statement in October 2021, saying: “We are very confident Sorare does not offer any forms of regulated gambling.”

“This has been confirmed by expert legal opinions at every stage since the company was founded,” Sorare said.

A Sorare spokesperson said: “It’s completely natural that regulators would want to scrutinise emerging trends, or new technologies, and act in the interests of consumers.”

“We will always engage and have an open dialogue with authorities who reach out to us to learn more about the game as we believe this is the responsible way to grow our game and community globally,” the spokesperson said.

The pending Premier League NFTs will reportedly be based on Panini stickers, and their value will reflect supply and demand, player performance and the Ethereum coin.

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