France has placed hard regulations on eSport which will impact most players, taxes, and other facets in the industry. France has just passed a piece of legislation titled the “Numeric Law” through the French Parliament.
The bill is now heading to the French Senate and the law which has been revised, several times has direct impacts on the eSports industry and it could affect a large amount of players.
Of the law there is one primary component in a section titled article 42. Article 42 defines and regulates the age at which a player may participate in a tournament, it allows the creation of a list of approved titles, and it places cash prizes from online events under the control of gambling laws, but article 42 defines very little regarding the legal status of eSports players.
Currently French teams and players are given a unique status called “auto-entrepreneur” which means they are defined as sole proprietorship type businesses who are paid for their services; provided the players do not make more than the maximum allowable for the status, roughly $36,000 a year, placing players in this category is a perfect solution.
Now as the industry grows many players are going to start passing the $36,000 limit and this is where we start to run into some legal issues because there is no clear status given to those players who pass.
Now this law is attempting to fix that and some other issues that the Prime Minister has laid out, but there are a few good alternatives and while there are some good ideas on the ministers list its going to shake up the industry for sure and there are going to be plenty of people upset with them.
The biggest issue still is to define what the legal status is of an eSports player and what this means for their taxes and other regulations. Until they can sort this out then the minister will push for some of the other objectives that he has on his list.
Prime Minister has released a list of objectives for eSports and eSports players, which includes things from creation of a national eSports federation, to copyright laws, to official status for pro players and sponsors.