This Wednesday, the French start-up Sorare announced a partnership with Kylian Mbappé. Problem: for many, it is a hypocritical decision on the part of the Parisian who has set himself up as a destroyer of sports betting for a few months. The fans of the game, them, defend the idea according to which Sorare is much less dangerous than the bets.
All this boxing started on March 22, shortly before midnight, when The Team revealed that Kylian Mbappé had shunned his sponsorship obligations, among other things because he did not want his image to be associated with certain brands, such as fast food or sports betting. His dislike of the bet was confirmed just over a week later when he tweeted: “The danger of online betting… no longer having a limit” , in response to a Winamax post who had just made fun of Wilfrid Mbappé, his father. Inevitably, seeing the Parisian become a partner of Sorare this Wednesday makes many people wonder if the former Monegasque is not a bit hypocritical. Sorare, a French start-up, is a kind of mix between MPG and Soccer Manager, but where it is a question of money. You have to buy player cards and line them up to make a team. These cards, divided into several categories of rarity, are more or less expensive, but can sometimes reach staggering sums. And so it is possible to invest a lot of money and speculate, for profit. A bit like in sports betting, in short.
It’s a bit the same, but not too much
Does Mbappé not find himself facing his contradictions by targeting sports betting, but by engaging with Sorare, which is akin to gambling? In Switzerland, Sorare is considered as such, and is therefore prohibited on Swiss territory since September 2021. Being a foreign company, it can escape “under the supervision of the Swiss authorities” and pass “in addition to Swiss law” as specified by the Gespa, the Intercantonal Authority for the supervision of gambling. “I understand people who don’t understand” sympathizes Alexy, known as “Thork” in the middle, content creator Sorare, and former French-speaking ambassador of the platform. “Basically, I don’t know if Mbappé has condemned sports betting as such. I think it was more aimed at very aggressive marketing, focused on people who are underage or who are in a precarious situation and who are made to believe that they can recover” , he supposes. For him, the parallel between gambling and betting is not impossible: “I agree that bets and Sorare are investments. It can be quite addictive and you can lose money if you fall into a vicious circle. So on that, there is not too much difference. »
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) March 31, 2022
“It is certain that there are people who crack, who make loans to invest in Sorare. » Alexy “Thork”
On the other hand, for Alexy, as for David Boga, co-creator of the dedicated MediaSorare podcast, sports betting has a much more pernicious mechanism than their favorite game. “It’s more vicious because there is this need to rebuild. If you lose, you want to bet again in stride to make up for your losses. And you fall in , dissects Thork. In Sorare, it is impossible to recover, and in any case, the value of a card never drops to 0 in a few minutes. “If a player misses a match, it’s not a tragedy, whereas on a bet, if your team loses, your money is directly lostsays David Boga. Even when a player is injured, it is not obvious that his value goes down. For example, Florian Wirtz of Bayer Leverkusen, who crossed paths last year, he lost 20%, not 90%. » If you can’t lose everything in Sorare, unlike sports betting, you may however be tempted to ask your PEL to build a very competitive team. It is difficult to make a big difference between these two perspectives. “It is certain that there are people who crack, who make loans to invest in Sorare” concedes Alexy.
— Sorare (@Sorare) June 29, 2022
Many fans of the game defend it by making the distinction between betting and investing, arguing that it should be approached in the same way as the stock market. But trading is also a form of betting. With a less immediate result, of course, but similar consequences. “The danger is not respecting the rule of “Only invest what you are capable of losing” » , explains David Boga. A bit like in bets after all. Moreover, it is the Sorare content creators who must take care of raising financial awareness. On the site, no message of prevention or warning. This is not really surprising, since Sorare is completely clear of the notion of investment in its terms and conditions : ” They (the maps, Editor’s note) are sold without the purpose of investment and/or realization of capital gain, even if the collectible cards can be resold via the market or via a service or a third party market. » In short, it’s like buying a pain au chocolat, so no need to do prevention. “Maybe Sorare should do more education on this. If I have one recommendation for them, this is surely it” admits David Boga.
One could also say that Sorare does not necessarily assume the investment platform that it is, whereas this is a significant argument with many people who register. Even if the possibility of making a lot of money is less now – “It’s clear that a person who arrives now will never have the return on investment that we were able to have at the beginning” enlightens Alexy – it is always possible to aim for profit: “There are people whose specialty is buying and reselling” , adds David Boga. Finally, the tweet“the dangers of online investing…no more limits” could also exist.
By Leo Peat
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