Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
×
The Courts Games

Valve Denounces Third-Party Gambling Sites, But Won't Block Them (arstechnica.com) 32

Valve is finally addressing the last week's Counter-Strike gambling scandal. The game maker and Steam operator says that it does not directly profit from these gambling sites' actions. In a statement, Valve's Erik Johnson said the following: We have no business relationships with any of these sites. We have never received any revenue from them. And Steam does not have a system for turning in-game items into real world currency. Johnson added that gambling sites work by creating and maintaining their own Steam accounts, which are used to conduct virtual item trading. He adds:Using the OpenID API and making the same web calls as Steam users to run a gambling business is not allowed by our API nor our user agreements.Steam's user agreement includes a passage that forbids "exploiting the Content and Services or any of its parts for any commercial purpose, except as expressly permitted elsewhere in this Agreement." The company won't block these websites, but says it will begin cracking down on them -- by sending them cease and desist notices.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Valve Denounces Third-Party Gambling Sites, But Won't Block Them

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Valve:
    We are going to start sending notices to these sites requesting they cease operations through Steam, and further pursue the matter as necessary.

  • by trawg ( 308495 ) on Thursday July 14, 2016 @01:34PM (#52511203) Homepage

    The statement by Erik Johnson ends with the following:

    "Using the OpenID API and making the same web calls as Steam users to run a gambling business is not allowed by our API nor our user agreements. We are going to start sending notices to these sites requesting they cease operations through Steam, and further pursue the matter as necessary."

    It might just be too hard/risky/boring for them to actually actively block these users so sending them a letter asking them to stop is probably a fair starting point.

    • by Murrdox ( 601048 ) on Thursday July 14, 2016 @01:57PM (#52511369)
      The way I understand it, it's actually impossible for them to "block" these services. There would be two ways they could "block" the services, and both of them would have extremely high impact to Steam. First, they could ban the Bots who are collecting and trading the skins that are being gambled on. We all know that this would only be a temporary measure. More bots would simply be created to replace those banned. Secondly, they could alter the API for Steam to prohibit the type of trading that is occurring. However, they would break a lot of legitimate functions if they went this route. So saying that Steam "won't block" the gambling is being pretty disingenuous. It'd be like if Major League Baseball could "block" betting on baseball games by not posting scores online. That's really not a valid or realistic solution to the problem. It certainly looks like Steam is taking active steps to shut the gambling sites down.
      • Why not require they have a key or cert before they can use the API? Google does this actually.

        Don't issue certs to known entities who abuse their api.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by phorm ( 591458 )

          The Steam API *does* require a key. I know this because I've used it and I have a key.

          There are things you can pull from the site without using the API/key though, but I'm not sure that these sites could function without one

          • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

            First, they could ban the Bots who are collecting and trading the skins that are being gambled on. We all know that this would only be a temporary measure. More bots would simply be created to replace those banned. Secondly, they could alter the API for Steam to prohibit the type of trading that is occurring. However, they would break a lot of legitimate functions if they went this route. So saying that Steam "won't block" the gambling is being pretty disingenuous.

            The Steam API *does* require a key. I know

      • by rocqua ( 4252459 )
        Make gambling against the rules, try and ban bots. Then, to give some credence to the rules, any items received from a gambling bot will be destroyed.
  • It may well have been against the ToS but if they did nothing to revoke access after being told of it, they're still likely in a world of financial hurt. Their position isn't helped once it becomes clear that these items, while only cosmetic, do have a rarity to them that the gambling sites used.

    I suspect that age verification is going to become a thing that Valve has to come up with and enforce if they plan on making out of the two current lawsuits without having state law enforcement crawling around looki

  • What about the coming IRS smack down?

    Maybe they can pull an Al Capone like thing hear.

  • Everyone wants a piece of the action. That's what this is all about.

  • Lots of people like to place the odd bet. That's not the problem. The problem with gambling are the scams, and this is nothing unique to online activites.

    Consider sports - let's take the specific example of tennis [mirror.co.uk]. The players at the very top can live off of their winnings and their sponsors. Then comes a long list of hundreds of players who are up-and-coming, or down-and-going, or just wannabes. They need to travel to tournaments, they need to pay a coach, they need good equipment, and train too much to wo

    • I totally agree with this except for one point: Gambling is an addiction, and just saying

      Maybe we just just let suckers lose their money

      removes our humanity from us. I'm not big on regulations, but allowing people to drown in debt is just as legal, and just as reprehensible as letting someone drown in actual water.

      • You're right: gambling addicts have a genuine problem. But, again, it's not a problem with gambling per se, but a problem of addiction. Not everyone who like beer is an alcoholic, and not everyone who enjoys betting is a gambling addict.

        For those who do have a problem, driving the industry underground tends to worsen the situation. Prohibition was a failure, the "war on drugs" is a disaster. Better to legalize the activity, so that addicts can come for help without automatically being criminals.

        All of which

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Valve couldn't shut off the API accounts immediately because then all of the users would lose their stuff and Valve would be the bad guy.

    Instead Valve says they are going to crack down causing a 'bank run' of users withdrawing their stuff from the gambling sites. Some users will get their stuff back, others won't as website owners cut and run. Valve won't take as much of the blame as users will be upset at the gambling sites who never returned their items.

    Valve can then actually block the APIs a month fro

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann

Working...