I’m sure by now you’ve heard of what I like to call The Great CSGO Betting Kerfuffle Of 2016. If not, I’ll quickly explain.
It recently came to light that a whole bunch of YouTubers have been illegally promoting morally shady betting sites that encourage gamers (including kids) to gamble with CS:GO skins (which can then be exchanged for real money).
The uproar surrounding these revelations prompted Valve to hit back – the company has been on the warpath, slapping any such sites with cease-and-desist letters.
Now, one site – CSGO Lounge – has announced that it plans to comply with Valve’s demands by getting an actual gambling license.
Obviously, Valve just wants these sites to go away and stop using one of their most popular games for sketchy gambling purposes, so this isn’t ideal.
CSGO Lounge’s founder explained in a statement on the site:
After all the recent events around virtual items and the official letter by Valve, which we have received as well, we were left out alone without any additional information or communication by Valve on this matter. We had to make a decision on how to proceed with Lounges as community place and entertainment service. The situation is highly confusing – we are not offering games of luck, we are not offering any transactions with real money or equivalents. Despite those facts, in order to avoid or reduce the confusion, we have decided to acquire a licence to legally operate in most of the countries and be able to accept the eSports bets by our community, as if it would be real money.
The site will aim to comply with various countries’ gambling laws by limiting access in places where it’s forbidden. This means that Belgium, France, French Guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Martinique, French Polynesia, Reunion, Mayotte, Turkey, Spain, Scotland, Israel, the UK and the US will be unable to use the betting feature.
Of course, Valve’s specific problem with these sites is that they use Steam accounts to do their dirty deeds. The Steam Subscriber Agreement maintains that ‘Steam and Steam services are licensed for personal, non-commercial use only’.
As such, it’s highly unlikely that CSGO Lounge is gonna get away with this plan – I expect Valve will continue to come down on these sites hard.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.