Unikrn eSport platform sued and German restrictions in videogames

This article brings news  on investors’ claim against the eSports platform Unikrn and changes on German Nazi symbols’ restrictions in videogames.

Unikrn eSports platform sued for allegedly violating SEC guidelines

Unikrn, an esport betting company, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, has been sued by

investors for skirting federal regulations during its initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017. Investors believe that Unikrn broke the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidelines by selling unregistered securities during its ICO fundraiser.


Unikrn is a start-up which became known world-wide because of its launch of UnikoinGold, a cryptocurrency that was backed by and runs off of the Ethereum blockchain network. UnikoinGold is marketed as a method of currency to be used on the Unikrn gambling platform, which allows users to bet on eSports titles.

Investors argue that:

  • the continuous offering of tokens to the public;
  • the alleged intent for purchasers to resell them at a later date; and
  • private presale to accredited investors before the coin was offered to the public;

shall lead to consider this usage of token as a sale of securities and that Unikrn thus violated SEC regulations.

As it can be read from the filing of the complaint:

Defendants have crafted a flimsy facade that UKG Tokens are not securities by claiming they are utility tokens. In reality, the UnikoinGold ICO was an offer and sale of securities. Indeed, it is evident that investors were purchasing UKG Tokens with the expectation that those tokens would increase in value and become worth more than the virtual currencies invested.”

The allegations against the company could set a precedent for similar startups in the sector.

Ban on Nazi iconography in German videogames lifted

Germany has lifted the blanket ban on the public display of symbols associated with the Nazi imaginary in videogames. As announced by German authorities, each title shall now be assessed on a case-by-case analysis by the country’s Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) and will be judged similarly to books and films. The change was made possible by a change in the legal interpretation of the social adequacy clause – as described below – of the competent highest state youth authority.

The social adequacy clause of § 86a (3) of the German Criminal Code can be included by the USK bodies in the examination of computer games. Accordingly, exceptions to the absolute ban on Nazi imagery are academic studies, historical exhibits, theatre and films. Social adequacy in this context means that symbols of anti-constitutional organizations can be used in a title, as long as it serves the arts or science, the representation of events of the day or history.

Therefore, from now on, when a game is submitted to the USK for an age rating, the latter will determine if it satisfies the so called social adequacy clause, also certifying that the anti-constitutional symbols and imagery used in videogames must serve an artistic or scientific purpose or depict current or historical events.

If you would like to receive more information on gaming law please contact Vincenzo at @vincenzo.giuffre@dlapiper.com