Unikrn founder, Rahul Sood, shares his concerns over underage gambling in the video game industry, and the Electronic Sports League (ESL) pulls the rug from under YouPorn’s professional eSports team.
It’s a perilous world for parents these days.
Advancements in technology and the need to keep up with the Jobs and the Musks mean our children could be up to anything behind the closed doors of their little boy or girl caves that are Narnia-like in their depth thanks to the Internet.
What they are up to God only knows.
But Rahul Sood thinks he knows.
Given that Sood is the creator of Unikrn – one of the world’s first eSports betting services emerging during the boom – you wouldn’t expect him to be too vocal on the subject of underage gambling, but he is, and something tells me he is only just beginning.
Writing on the Unikrn website Sood wants ‘every gamer, every parent, and everyone who are concerned about potential underage gambling,’ to pay attention to what he has to say.
Sood went to print after a Reddit poster ‘BackyZoo’ called for the video game live streaming specialist Twitch to create an exclusive gambling channel to separate the professional eSports wheat, from the problematic chaff, in connection with the burgeoning activity of gambling of skins.
In November, Luke Cotton, eSports specialist at Digital Fuel Marketing and founder of CS: GO Betting, wrote a piece for us entitled ‘Skin Betting: Will eSports Lose it’s Shirt‘ where he talked about this problem estimating that sites were raking in $4.5m per day.
Unikrn’s chief joined the fray after hearing his 13-year old son and his friends discussing skin betting.
‘It’s wrong that a 13-year old kid can do this.” Writes Sood.
He is referring to sites that allow gamers to gamble with skins (select in-game purchases, or finds), on games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO). Sood’s point not only rests on the age of those that have access to this type of gambling but whether the sites they are gambling on are even complying with the law.
Global Poker Index (GPI) American Poker Award (APA) winner, and Eilers Research consultant, Chris Grove, tweeted that their analysis revealed that total handle for skin betting this year alone had reached $5 billion. That’s quite a leap from the same research outfit’s 2015 punt at eight hundred million dollars.
Where the Problems Began
The problems began when CS: GO creators Valve created an open API that allowed gamers to trade their CS: GO virtual hauls across any marketplace. Opportunists saw an angle. Niche virtual goods eSports gambling websites starting popping up with the same frequency of Kim Kardashians butt, as did the popularity of Twitch streamers involving themselves in the trades.
The business has grown to include traditional bets where players can stake their skins on the outcome of CS: GO matches, to the introduction of raffles, where people deposit their skins into a single pool in exchange for a raffle ticket and one lucky punter wins the lot. No skill. Plenty of luck. I can hear the regulators coming a mile off.
Sood believes the growth of skin betting is a warning to the regulators not to be complacent and that a fully regulated and transparent eSports betting market are much needed, especially to clamp down on underage gambling.
Electronic Sports League Pull The Rug From Under YouPorn’s Involvement
From one shady bedroom pastime that parents might not be aware of to another.
YouPorn is one of the largest provider of free porn on the Internet. In 2012, numbers supplied by their analysts revealed close to 5 billion visits, with the USA leading the way with over a fifth of that market. The Sherman Tankers spent an average 10.22 minutes on the site and viewed 8.34 pages before leaving with traces of guilt filling up their souls.
If underage gambling is every parent’s nightmare then having the conversation with their child about pornography must be a night terror. So parents all over the world will breathe a little easier this morning after Electronic Sports League (ESL) officials decided to ban YouPorn’s professional eSports team from competing in ESL tournaments.
It’s hard to believe.
But YouPorn is the primary sponsor behind the eSports outfit Team YP, and the ESL no longer want any part of it. So much so that they even created a new rule blocking sponsors that are “widely known for pornographic … or other adult/mature themes and products.”
It was this stipulation that led to the axe falling on Team YP’s involvement in ESL events.
Team YP manager Claire Fisher isn’t happy with the decision. According to Venture Beat, Fisher and her team tried everything in their power to reverse ESL’s decision. Including a proposal to take the “Y” and the “P” out of the team name, and to show that YouPorn had done everything in their power to ensure that people searching for Team YP on the Internet didn’t come face to face with a young girl getting fisted by an 80-year old man.
The ESL stayed strong.
Team YP, who compete in Mortal Kombat X, Evolve, CS: GO, Starcraft II, and Ultra Street Fighter IV contests, will have to find somewhere else to play.