During the last week of September 2016, France made a first step towards legalizing eSports betting. French Senate adopted a law which differentiates eSports from gambling, which provides a frame to professional gamers' contracts and visas. This allowed the French eSports scene to flourish and, even though electronic sports was not made an official sport, it still gained a solid boost of popularity and public interest that still hasn't gone away. But, that was just the start. You see, in the last couple of months, several big French public names such as PMU (short for Pari-Mutuel Urbain), PSG (Paris Saint-Germain) and Francaise des Jeux have been showing an active interest in the eSports industry… Let's take a closer look to see what exactly happened!
PSG and PMU Sponsorship Deal
Last week, there was a huge news revolving around the most popular French professional football team – PSG. They have already shown their interest in eSports by founding the PSG eSports teams for EA FIFA and League of Legends back in October 2016. Now, they've extended their partnership with PMU, a popular horse race betting operator in France to their PGS eSports project as well.
“We were already partners with Paris Saint-Germain on the football side and we are proud to extend our partnership and join the club in its ambitious eSports project.” – PMU's Marketing Direction stated after the announcement.
This sponsorship deal obliges PSG's eSport players to wear PMU graphics on their eSports events. Even though these two companies have been partners all the way back from 2011, this news about their dive into eSports waters has been received as a thrilling sensation. Here's what PSG's Director of Merchandising had to say about this:
“The agreement with PMU marks a turning point in the development of our eSports project.”
This just proves our point that this sponsorship could mean a big deal for the legalization of eSports betting in France. You see, whenever the most popular sports organization in a country partners up with one of the biggest betting providers, big changes tend to happen. We will see how this will unfold, but judging by everything we had the chance to see so far, things are looking quite good for French eSports fans who are interested in placing a bet on their favourite team!
Legal eSports Betting Is a Big Topic Nowadays
Such topics are not only limited to France. You see, sponsors and organizations from all over the world are battling with the authorities and gambling regulators regarding eSports betting. While there are several countries in Europe that have licensed bookmakers for eSports betting there are still a lot of countries where betting on eSports games is either illegal or doesn't have any laws to regulate it. This puts it in a so-called gray area which non licensed eSports bookmakers could effectively take advantage of. But, with all the recent turmoil, I am pretty sure we will be seeing the legalization of eSports betting on a larger scale across the whole world pretty soon. After all, it was about time since the industry as a whole does not seem like it's going to stop growing anytime soon.
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About the Author: Article written by Hipster Jesus, eSports enthusiast and an active member of the CS: GO community. In his free time, he likes to rush B on competitive servers and scream “CYKA BLYAT” at trolls. Contact “Hipster Jesus” on Twitter.