BUSINESS

Valve Corp’s illegal skin gambling crackdown spills over Team Fortress 2

TAGs: CSGO, eSports, Valve Corporation

ESports developer Valve Corporation continues to purge online gambling sites taking advantage of its open application program interface.

Valve Corp’s illegal skin gambling crackdown spills over Team Fortress 2Valve – the folks behind the popular Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) eSports title – this time targeted online gambling sites catering to the first-person shooter multiplayer video Team Fortress 2 by blocking their accounts.

It isn’t clear how many accounts of Team Fortress 2 gambling sites have been shut but Valve said that the move is a reiteration of their position that the company doesn’t tolerate skin betting.

“In July of last year we outlined our position on gambling web sites, specifically noting that Valve has no business relationship with these sites. At that time we also began blocking many CSGO gambling accounts,” the company said in a statement posted on the TF2 blog. “More recently, some gambling web sites started leveraging TF2 items. Today we began the process of blocking TF2 gambling accounts as well. We recommend you don’t trade with these sites.”

Valve came under fire from Washington state gaming regulators last year after YouTube stars Trevor “Tmartn” Martin and Tom “ProSyndicate” Cassel were caught skin betting on a gambling site they own without full disclosure.

The eSports game developer, which is facing two separate lawsuits in Connecticut and Florida for its alleged relationship with skin betting websites, denied it profited in any manner from skin gambling.

In light of the scandal involving YouTube eSports stars, Valve issued a cease and desist order to 23 well known CS:GO skin gambling destinations.

But despite the crackdown on skin gambling, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming and Narus Advisors found in their research that some $5 billion was wagered in skins in 2016, of which only 40 percent was wagered on the outcomes of eSports matches and tournaments.

The most intriguing aspect of the data given by the research firms was the fact that roughly $3 billion “flows to a darker corner of the internet — one populated by fly-by-night websites that accept skins for casino-style gaming.”

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