We told you before that Valve has been hit with a class-action lawsuit around the betting scene that’s grown up around Counter: Strike Go. You’d imagine, given the game’s eSports focus, that much of the illicit gambling the game’s drawn would be linked to result; betting on favourite teams et al, but you’d be wrong.
While that does happen, for more illicit is the functionally illegal betting ring around the game’s gun skins. According to the suit against Valve and the third parties that run betting sites, they’ve “knowingly allowed, supported, and/or sponsored illegal gambling by allowing millions of Americans to link their individual Steam accounts to third- party websites.”
One of the biggest issues is that none of these sites require any sort of age verification, which means that minors are not only allowed, but often encouraged to effectively gamble on these skins, which have a real-world monetary value.
“In the eSports gambling economy, skins are like casino chips that have monetary value outside the game itself because of the ability to convert them directly into cash,” the suit said.
The whole thing gets a little worse. Whenever there’s money to be made, there are people who’re going to try profit from it. And it seems that two prominent CS:GO YouTubers have been doing that.
According to evidence uncovered by HonorTheCall and further expounded upon by Ethan Klein of h3h3 productions, two CS: Go YouTube CS:Go personalities Tmartn and ProSyndicate created a CS:GO Skin betting lounge for profit. While that in itself is fine, the way they’ve been promoting it – by doing streams of their winning bets without disclosure of any sort is a little on the shady side.
Essentially, they’ve been promoting their own betting site using very probably staged betting streams (remember, as owners of the site it’s likely they have full backend access)
It’s very much in contravention of FTC guidelines – but worse still is the lies and back-peddling that’s accompanied the reveal. And I also suspect that it a rabbit hole that will just get deeper and shadier.
Last Updated: July 4, 2016