Valve Facing Class Action Lawsuit Over Multi-Billion Dollar Counter Strike: Global Offensive Gambling Market
Valve's popular shooter, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is known around the world for its fast paced action and large tournament scene. CS:GO also has another alleged claim to fame that Valve would probably to prefer to keep out of the limelight, the multi-billion dollar gambling market that has risen up as a result of CS:GO's weapon skin trading. Counter-Strike:Global Offensive's in-game skins are a desired commodity, with some rare items reaching up to thousands of dollars in value.
The Dragon Lore is one of CS:GO's most expensive skins at over $1,200
A Connecticut resident named Michael John McLeod has recently filed a lawsuit against Valve claiming that the company is guilty of allowing an "illegal online gambling market" to function, and taking a share of the profits for themselves. McLeod states that he purchased skins directly from Valve and lost money gambling with them over the course of a few years.
Valve has no permission or legal authority to promote, or sustain any kind of entity which functions off of gambling, but McLeod claims that this is exactly what they are doing by releasing new skins, and cooperating with third party websites which serve as the actual platforms for the gambling.
Websites like Opskins and CSGO Lounge allow players to link their Steam accounts and place bets on professional Counter-Strike matches using the tradable skins as collateral. In order to be able to access Steam accounts, these sites have to be in some kind of cooperation with Valve.
A few of those third-party sites do not even require age verification in order to sign up. Seeing how a large amount of CS:GO's community consists of teenagers, those using CS:GO skins as gambling chips are violating the gambling laws that require participants to be 21 years of age.
The amount of money that McLeod is seeking from Valve remains unspecified, and it will be interesting to see what becomes of this case.