Its all about betting and winning.
The e-sports betting industry is a relatively new phenomenon, but a regulated and licensed market exists, and licensed operators are concerned by the unregulated competition, which they accuse of facilitating underage gambling.
Valve acts as if theyre a 10-person indie company, he said. (Image: steamcommunity.com)
Its estimated that over 3 million players bet $2.3 billion worth of skins on the outcome of e-sports matches in 2015.
CS: GO, the fourth iteration of the series, released in 2012, was initially slow to take off, until someone at Valve had the brainwave to introduce collectable designer weapons, known as skins, into the game, which could be purchased in-game and traded for real money.
No Longer About the Game
Thus, Valve created a virtual arms market, and the popularity of the game exploded as a result. A Bloomberg article published Wednesday sheds light on the unregulated and often underage gambling market that has grown up around the trading of skins in the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).
And because skins have a real-world cash value, they can be used as a virtual currency, and for gambling. Counter-Strike is a series of first-person shooter video games developed by the Valve Corporation, which also owns the Steam online games distribution platform. There are now, according to Bloomberg, around 380,000 around the world people playing the game at any given time.
For those over 30, this may need further explanation. A sizable market in skins gambling has sprung up around the game and its vast community of players.. I am shocked that they let this go on.
And since the skin gambling sites incorporate software built by Valve, and Valve collects 15 percent of every skin thats bought or sold, many believe the company should be held legally accountable.
Virtual arms market: The Counter-Strike skins that can be bought, sold and gambled with in a huge global underground market. Many are underage, he said, and the biggest losses run into thousands.
Nothing about Counter-Strike is about the game anymore, Moritz Maurer, head of e-sports integrity at gambling watchdog SportIM, told Bloomberg. By far the greatest amount of bets are placed, though, on teams competing in professional video gaming, or e-sports, at is has become known.
Ryan Morrison, a lawyer specializing in legal issues surrounding video gaming, told Bloomberg he has been contacted by numerous people over the past four months looking to sue Valve after losing their money gambling with skins. Valve permits the transfer of skins to third-party sites, which in turn facilitates the creation of independent skin-wagering websites that operate lottery and roulette-style games. The games allow players to play in teams either as terrorists or counter-terrorists.
Unregulated e-sports gambling was under the spotlight this week
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