The British Gambling Commission, the authority responsible for regulating lotteries and commercial gambling, has published their own official discussion paper talking about their concerns regarding unlicensed gambling using virtual game goods with real-money value, especially on eSports.
Bloomberg estimated that as much as $2.3 billion was wagered via CS:GO skin betting last year at websites, such as CSGOLounge and CSGODiamonds, where users can bet in-game skins with real-money value on the outcome of competitive CS:GO matches and various casino games.
Image courtesy of Helena Kristiansson/ESL Flickr
Shortly after the recent TmarTn and ProSyndicate gambling scandals, Valve issued cease-and-desist letters to at least 23 CS: GO and Dota 2 gambling sites. Some of those sites targeted by Valve, particularly CSGOLounge, have said they will attempt to bring their operations in line with gambling regulations and apply for regular gambling licenses.
Gambling Commission General Counsel Neil McArthur stated in a press release that:
“Like any other market, we expect operators offering markets on eSports to manage the risks – including the significant risk that children and young people may try to bet on such events given the growing popularity of eSports with those who are too young to gamble.”
The Commission is seeking feedback on their comments up until the end of September, and they plan to issue a more definitive “position paper” on the subject before the end of the year.