Following the CS:GO skin gambling scandal that erupted earlier this year, the Washington State Gambling Commission orders Valve to take action against gambling sites.
Valve's massively popular first-person shooter, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, Valve was forced to permanently ban several professional players of the multiplayer title for match fixing and Valve also took aim at CS: GO gambling schemes, sending cease and desist notices to the sites hosting the betting systems.
It's the latter scandal that is now hitting the headlines again as the Washington State Gambling Commission has now ordered Valve to "stop allowing the transfer of virtual weapons known as ‘skins’ for gambling activities." In February, the Commission launched an investigation in an "attempt to learn about Valve’s operation of ‘skins’ on its Steam Platform to determine if any additional action was needed" and has now found that CS:GO's skin gambling violates the state's gambling laws.
The Washington State Gambling Commission has “directed Valve Corporation to stop facilitating the use of ‘skins’ for gambling activities through its Steam Platform" and to “take whatever actions are necessary to stop third party websites from using ‘skins’ for gambling."
While the proceedings aren't quite as salacious as these other video game lawsuits, the Commission does state that if Valve doesn't "explain how it is in full compliance with Washington’s gambling laws" by October 14, then the Commission could bring"additional civil or criminal action against the company."
In response to the Commission's announcement, Valve's director of marketing Doug Lombardi has referred to the In-Game Item Trading Update that was posted in July and states that gambling via Steam "is not allowed by our API nor our user agreements" and that the company will take action against sites that allow for it. Lombardi also notes that "our position has not changed and so far we’ve sent cease and desist notices to over 40 sites."
Many CS:GO players will see this as some kind of victory, as Valve has little to no choice in taking on these skin gambling sites now and there is hope that this will finally lead the Steam parent company to rid the game of gambling systems once and for all. Others are sceptical though, saying that the fact that the gambling has gone on for so long is just one more way in which Valve is failing its customers, such as the paid mods scandal, and they have little faith that Valve will do much else to fix this.
Source: PC Gamer