Skin betting site CSGOFast plan to shut down their operation ‘indefinitely’ after they received 1 of 23 cease and desist letters distributed by the game developer Valve Corporation.
The walls surrounding the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) skin betting operation continue to come crashing down after gambling site CSGOFast advised their customers of their intention to shut down operations in light of a Cease & Desist letter received from the games publisher, Valve Corporation.
The notice posted onto the CSGOFast website explains that the site will be suspending operations ‘indefinitely’.
Here is the notice in full:
In light of the recent announcement from Valve CSGOFast has decided to close operations 29th July 12 am (midnight) on CET. After this date, all bots will be stopped.
Players with coins on balance are encouraged to withdraw before this date. Roulette will remain open (for now) while we work to cash everyone out.
Thank you for being a part of this amazing project.
The eSports community has been up in arms about the problems unregulated skin betting creates for some time now. One of the main issues that were regularly brought to the surface and poked was the lack of age verification.
But nothing seemed to be happening to stem the tide.
CSGO gambling continued.
Things started to change at the back end of June after a CS:GO player, Michael John McLeod (I’m not sure if he is from the Clan McLeod or immortal), took out a Class Action Lawsuit against Valve Corporation. McLeod claimed Valve were profiting from the actions of the third party CS:GO gambling sites, amongst a series of other claims.
People started to pay attention.
And then the lid blew off the whole thing after a couple of CS:GO players seemingly winning a small fortune betting skins on CSGOLotto were later found to own the site. Gossip spread like wildfire that the whole thing was rigged to give off the impression that winning vast sums of money betting on skins was a more attractive alternative than working at McDonalds.
Valve Corporation kept their powder dry until July 13 when Erik Johnson, a former shoe salesman now working as one of Valve’s development authorities, issued a statement on the site denying that they have any business relations with the third party sites:
“We’d like to clarify that we have no business relationships with any of these sites.”
That they have never earned revenue from them:
“We have never received any revenue from them.”
And that the Steam platform has no method of turning virtual goods into the fiat currency of your choice:
“Steam does not have a system for turning in-game items into a real world currency.”
One day later, and Cease & Desist letters flew via Ravens to the following 23 outfits, some of which have closed down, some who haven’t, and others who claim their Raven must have been eaten by a cat because they have never received such a letter.
Valve Corporation maintains that using their OpenID API to run a gambling business violates their API User Agreement.
Sites that continue to operate despite warnings from Valve are in danger of losing all of their skins, and will be at an extreme disadvantage should the mist clear and a fully regulated skin betting market be opened sometime in the not too distant future.