Esports gain a legal foothold in France

03 October 2016


Last week the esports industry, and those involved in it, were given a major boost in France after the courts granted it individual recognition. france

The Senate granted a new law which separates esports from gambling in terms of how it is viewed legally in the country, and included further notes on contracts for pro players.

This will ensure that professional esports players have an easier time when applying for visas, and that teams based in France can attract non native talent and grant them official and legally recognised contracts. 

Axelle Lemaire is the minister behind this Numeric Law which was first discussed in courts in France with a focus on a legal framework around the internet. The French association of video game developers, SELL, pushed for this to include esports which was granted following extensive lobbying during Paris Games Week. 

The Ministry of Sport declined the bid for esports to be recognised as a sport however, but the war was not over. Article 42 of the new law is the one which concerns esports and the precise details can be viewed in full here

Esports are defined in the legal document as “video games compétitions on a video game, of at least two players or teams of players for a score or a victory”.

Esports Insider says: This is a big win for esports generally, and a major win for European and French esports in particular. Recognition for players in the courts is vital if the industry is to continue to grow as it’ll encourage more to view it as a legitimate career path and sponsors to invest too.