The Washington State Gambling Commission is apparently coming after Valve for the whole skin betting and gambling rings that were using the Steam API for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
“In Washington, and everywhere else in the United States, skins betting on esports remains a large, unregulated black market for gambling. And that carries great risk for the players who remain wholly unprotected in an unregulated environment. We are also required to pay attention to and investigate the risk of underage gambling which is especially heightened in the esports”
The cease and desist letter was sent to Valve on October 5th, 2016 today and was short and sweet, letting them know that gambling is wrong, that gambling in Valve-operated games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is unregulated, and that underage gambling is a serious issue.
The investigation into the gambling rings by the Washington State Gambling Commission is long overdue, but follows on the heels of a recent crackdown on the gaming gambling rings after YouTubers were outed for breaching federal regulation in regards to undisclosed endorsements and sponsorships from gambling rings that they owned.
The FTC was made aware of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive situation, and lawyers have been putting together civil suits against YouTubers for misleading underage gamers into gambling in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Based on many state laws it was pretty obvious that the gambling rings were illegal once real money entered into the equation and gray market account resellers began popping up to turn virtual goods into real life cash, a problem that MMOs used to suffer from and was almost becoming a huge issue with Diablo III’s real-money auction house.
With the Washing State Gambling Commission looking to investigate Valve and issuing them a cease and desist regarding the gambling is a serious step towards a new era in how skins can be traded through Valve’s games. In separate instances, Australia has prohibited all sorts of gambling in relation to video games and e-sports, and
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