DLA Piper’s Esports Laws of the World is the result of fantastic teamwork of our colleagues worldwide, and demonstrates our commitment to provide our clients with innovative tools to support their business.
The esports market has been booming over the last years, but unfortunately, or fortunately, in some cases, regulations have not been able to catch up. Gambling, sports, and prize promotion/advertising rules might apply to esports events, impose restrictions or grant exemptions, depending on how and where they are organized. There are indeed a number of variables.
- Is the esports tournament online or land–based?
- Is a country recognizing esports as an official sport?
- Can any type of prize be awarded to participants?
- What are the technical requirements to be complied with?
- And what is the actual risk of local penalties?
At the same time, there are several different actors in the esports market. From event organizers to media companies, including online platforms, to sponsors and video game publishers which have different roles, responsibilities, and the need to preserve and maximize their profits and exploitation rights. Even stringent contracts and corporate structures might not be enforceable if in contrast with local laws, endangering the profitability of the entire investment.
And the same issues arise in contracting players. These might be players who could become extremely popular in quite a short period of time also through online streaming platforms and channels of communications that are rapidly changing. As such, the appropriate contracting of their services is paramount to avoid subsequent challenges.
This guide is not intended to give a comprehensive review of all the laws affecting esports worldwide, and it should not be considered as a replacement of legal advice. Regulation in this area is constantly changing and we will regularly update the guide to ensure that it is responsive to clients’ requests and feedback. We hope this guide will help you to flag potential issues and solutions. To discuss any of these issues in more detail, please contact the key person/s in the relevant jurisdiction indicated in the guide.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.