Despite being one of the few online multiplayer games with millions in tournament prize pools, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has slowly become known for its many scandals instead. What began as the successor to one of the most popular online shooters in the history of gaming has now become a breeding ground for illegal gambling activity, with a history of match-fixing and betting website scandals coloring the recent past of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
The most high profile case yet, involving a gambling website called CSGOLotto and its owners Travis “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassel, has been carried on for months in courtrooms but has now reached its conclusion. Despite illegally advertising the website without disclosing that they were its owners, TmarTn and Syndicate will be receiving no punishment whatsoever for their actions, instead serving as a warning to future entrepreneurs looking to attempt similar schemes. Federal Trade Commission representative Mitchell J. Katz elaborated:
“The goal of the FTC isn’t to be a punitive or draconian agency. We are here to educate consumers about new markets.”
What previously looked like it could be a very expensive lesson for the CSGOLotto owners is now one that likely won’t be repeated. The two owners reportedly reached a deal with the FTC, one that includes the possibility of future infractions carrying fines of up to $40,000 USD per violation. It might not be a Valve perma-ban, but it’s enough of a punitive measure that CS:GO probably won’t have to deal with this particular variety of scandal anymore.
Unfortunately for Valve, however, CS:GO has already cultivated a reputation for being a game filled with people looking to bend or outright break the rules. Beyond the CS:GO gambling scandals that have caused Valve no end to headaches, there have been incidents with CS:GO community members that have been noticeably negative as well. While the game itself still remains incredibly popular and garners a huge following on services like Twitch and Steam, there’s a lot of work to be done to legitimize a CS:GO scene that wants to consistently compete with the influx of new esports titles arriving seemingly every month.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is available now for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Source: Rolling Stone