Legal Matters of CSGO Gambling

Since CS: GO release in 2012, the video game has given birth to the phenomenon of self-dependent skin gambling.

Since CS: GO release in 2012, the video game has given birth to a phenomenon of self-dependent skin gambling. Millions of people regularly bet on CS GO cosmetic skins via specialized websites created for gambling purposes.

Reasons for CSGO betting rise

  • CS: GO world-wide popularity.
  • Game’s items dropping system that presupposes trading.
  • The steam market where gamers buy and sell items.
  • Application programming interface which allows the creation of unauthorized websites to bet on Counter-Strike GO.

As long as the gambling industry develops, ethical and judicial issues of CS GO skin gambling draw further attention. Valve Corporation, is the game developer, had to address class-action lawsuits (two of them were submitted in 2016).

Those lawsuits resulted in banning some gamers, shutting down certain gambling websites and warning comments made by Valve. However, most of the popular eSports bets CS GO sites claim that they get some technical assistance from Valve instead of being censored. Gamers are not totally discouraged from using them.

In spite of its controversy, opportunities for betting have grown interested in CS GO game community. Influential YouTube vloggers add fuel to the fire by taking part in CSGO gambling on newly created websites.

Main ways of skin gambling:

  • eSports betting at that lets users bet on CS GO matches;
  • an opening of special weapon cases;
  • winning the shared pots of skin deposits;
  • playing casino-type games that convert the value of skins into currency.

There are many games with tradable items and developers who fight with the resellers, but CS GO case is unique: third-party websites use CS GO skins as tokens for games of chance without the public intervention of Valve Corporation. Unregulated gaming process and absence of age checks altogether can violate the law. However, gambling became an unavoidable and inseparable element of CSGO game community.

By now, CS GO bets are not subject to direct legal danger. Skins are considered to be things of virtual value, which means that this kind of gambling does not contradict the rule of law. It is also the gamer’s responsibility to confirm age and clarify whether CS GO betting is compatible with national law or not. In general, the legal attitude towards betting is rather about its regulation than the prohibition of all its forms. Unless the whole game industry puts severe restrictions on gambling websites, they will remain acceptable from the moral and legal point of view.