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In France, the video game sector has started to experience sulfurous success in recent years even if the country seems to be lagging behind other states such as South Korea or the United States because of an undeniable legal vacuum. .
Currently, there are more than 200 gamer pros who make video game competitions their sources of income.
Statistics have also shown that more than 500,000 people regularly participate in physical or online tournaments.
That’s why the government thought it’s time to give these pro players a special status. He proposed a bill to parliament on the authorization and regulation of video game tournaments to ensure the development of this growing market.
The bill is approved by the Senate after some modifications to the version of the National Assembly.
Professional players subject to the specific sports CDD?
The adoption of this bill for a digital republic by the Senate at first reading is good news for professional video game players and for operators in France.
For all this time, the status and regulations of video games have been assimilated to those of lotteries and other games of chance, whereas the latter are prohibited by law unless specific derogation.
pro gamer and games of chance
Currently, the sector has its own status which was inspired by that of top athletes. It will be a temporary CDD of one year minimum and 5 years maximum.
It allows pro players to have a specific pro gamer work contract. Players now have a pro player contract with another job title or self-employed status.
This new status also offers players more job security and more social protection. This also benefits teams wishing to offer professional training to their members to make the video game market more competitive.
To introduce more flexibility into the organization of video game competitions, senators voted an amendment to the government’s bill.
They decided, after a vote in committee, to give the organizers of video game competitions the power to organize tournaments without administrative authorization.
Obtaining a temporary permit issued after an investigation by the Interior Ministry is therefore no longer necessary. They also noted that this new status now differentiates video games from other games of chance.
The Senate noted that it was this legal lack on the organization of competitions that led to the non-supervision of the pro player contract and the delay of France in the field.
Compared to pros gamers from other countries, French pros gamers are still in precarious situations.
elky pro gamer in korea
In South Korea, the pioneer of esports, the government awards players a well-framed pro gamer contract.
French players have even decided to settle in this country to live their dreams of becoming professional players, like the Nancéien "Elky".
As for the American players, they have the status of an employee of the sport. The LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) have even given participants the status of an employee.
Bill for a digital republic: a lever for development for the sector and the economy in France
The ambiguity about the position of competitive video games arouses the curiosity of many people.
Is it a gambling game or a sport?
This bill for a digital republic puts an end to all these questions. It gives top players a real professional status and qualifies video games as a sport in its own right.
It also makes it possible to develop this sector which represents a world market of 600 million dollars per year. The sector is experiencing remarkable growth of around 30% each year.
In addition, the number of competitions and the gain they generate continued to increase between 2014 and 2015.
In France, nearly 850,000 video game enthusiasts and more than 4 million annual spectators are registered. This bill therefore helps regularize the sector and breathe new life into it for rapid growth.
It should also be borne in mind that the online gaming market could be a lever for development for the national economy.
As legal employees, players are subject to income taxes.
This increases the state’s annual revenues. The economic data prove this willingness of the French public authorities to adopt this law.
According to the Secretary of State for Digital that, Axelle Lemaire, the practice of video games poses no threat to the Nation.
It had been some time since she had sounded the alarm about the usefulness of this special status for professional video game players.
The government has already addressed the subject of gaming since 2014, with the launch of
I like video games
This phrase allowed the time to carry out an administrative movement intended to restore the image of the sector and to give it a more precise framework.
A year later, in 2015, the government launched a public consultation on the bill to remove gaming competitions from the gambling category and make them into sports competitions.
With the Secretary of State’s ambition to “get esports out of legal hiding”, the situation has taken a rapid turn.
The project is sent to the National Assembly. After adoption at first reading in the upper house, the bill was also unanimous in the Senate.
At the same time, the major players in the market have come together around a real federation called France eSport, which is identical to the South Korean system.
Bill for a digital republic: lack of reflection?
The bill for a digital republic was legislated at 322 votes. Only one vote is against, and there are 23 abstentions. Even if the UDI-UC group said that this text lacks political scope, it decided to vote for it.
According to Catherine Morin-Dessaily, the government has not given much thought to the subject, in particular on 4.0 or web geneticy, as well as on the repercussions that this text will have.
The implementation of this desire to democratize video games requires a high strategy and coordination, according to specialists. In return, it is necessary to demand from the organizers and the pros gamer some strict conditions to be able to exercise on the market.
Some professionals in the field have also argued that the government must clarify the taxation of this constantly changing and maturing market to avoid problems.