CSGO Skins: Crackdown On…Valve?
The drive against CSGO skins betting sites continue. And as it does, in a (not-so)surprising turn of events, Valve itself is getting hit by the US government, as they too enable the very practice they want third-party sites to end.
The Washington State Gambling Commission is demanding Valve to stop CSGO skins from being transferred through the Steam API, as this can be used to go against state gambling laws. Said agency gave Valve until October 14 to “explain how it is in full compliance with Washington’s gambling laws.” They have also issued a warning that failure or refusal to do so could bring about civil, or worse, criminal charges onto the company. Yikes.
The reason why it’s targeting the mother company is because Steam’s very API can be used in such a way that third-party CSGO skins betting sites. So, how do they want Steam to respond? By having Steam completely shut down their Steam trade API, or lock any items that are obtainable by players so that they can’t be used in gambling, and that they’ll only be tradable through the Steam Market.
CSGO Skins: Hitting Home
So, why the crackdown again? I mean, if the next set of actions would cut a big chunk of Valve profits, then why can’t they just let it go? Well, that’s because this goes beyond the company’s interests, and is actually more about protecting people from an uncontrolled underground trade that is gambling in another name or form.
“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,” according to Washington State Gambling Commissioner Chris Stearns. “We are also required to pay attention to and investigate the risk of underage gambling which is especially heightened in the esports world. It is our hope that Valve will not only comply but also take proactive steps to work with the Commission on future measures that will benefit the public and protect consumers.”
Indeed, the stakes (pun intended) have never been this high, and the changes this will bring about is going to be big.