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First Person Shooters (Games) PC Games (Games) The Almighty Buck

Valve Threatens Counter Strike Gambling Sites (hngn.com) 37

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes a report from HNGN: Game maker Valve is threatening to shut down sites dedicated to gambling with add-ons to its popular Counter Strike game. On Thursday the company sent cease and desist letters to 23 sites, demanding that gambling operations be stopped, and that the sites had 10 days to comply. The row revolves around the software overlays that change the appearance of the characters people play in Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) and the weapons and other virtual items. Last week the company reiterated that its user agreements ban external sites from asking users to connect their Steam accounts in order to trade items for real money. The company added that it would use "all available remedies" against sites that did not stop players using virtual goods to gamble.
Bloomberg reports that in June a class action lawsuit was filed against Valve "for its role in the multibillion-dollar gambling economy that has fueled the game's popularity" -- by a man who had been gambling on the site since 2014. This was followed in July by a second class action lawsuit by a mother on behalf of her son, reports ESPN. "The case alleges that the Valve knowingly allows and profits from teenagers participating in illegal, unregulated and underage gambling of in-game cosmetic weapon skins through third-party sites."
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Valve Threatens Counter Strike Gambling Sites

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  • Oh it's fine for children to use real money to buy virtual goods, but we must not allow them to gamble with those goods or sell them for real money! Thank you GabeN for thinking of the children!
    • by ADRA ( 37398 )

      Well, Gambling is almost universally illegal for minors... sooo yes? If they wanted to go legit, they could require mandatory CC authorization for all users. Some minors will have parents shower them with cards, but the majority won't. Problem solved. Next problem, tons of CC's leaked based on DISREPUTABLE gambling sites stealing CC info / CVC's for crime, etc..

    • That isn't GabeN thinking of the children, it is the law in most of the world. I imagine there is considerable concern on the legal ramifications.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The problem is most of these sites are scam sites. Some used their acces to the internals to predict the next rolls and got caught on leaked chat logs, others faked hughe winnings on youtube videos while also hiding their affiliation to these sites. Generally the owners of these sites have a history of being scammers and con artists, as is valve only reacted after several of them were exposed for questionable ( read illegal ) behavior.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        > The problem is most of these sites are scam sites.

        It's not just "these sites". Must gambling businesses are subtle or outright frauds. Even state lotteries take an enormous cut of the proceeds to fund the lottery bureaucracy itself, and not to help the schools as promised. The schools have their funding _replced_ by lottery winnings, not augmented. Even the "honest casinos" forbid card counters, whose behavior is technically legal but can actually allow players to win in the long run, not just the shor

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          It's not just "these sites".

          These are the bottom feeding scum though.

          Must gambling businesses are subtle or outright frauds

          No, not really. Gambling businesses don't need to cheat or commit fraud to win. That's built into the business. A slot machine in Vegas is a ripoff; but its exactly the ripoff it discloses itself to be. And its independently tested to make sure it pays out exactly the odds it says on the label.

          These gaming gambling sites take all the advantages that are built into being a gambling business... and then they just outright cheat. Rig games for insiders or themselves. Li

          • >> Must gambling businesses are subtle or outright frauds

            > No, not really. Gambling businesses don't need to cheat or commit fraud to win.

            Most, perhaps not all but certainly most, do commit subtle or outright frauds against their clientele. It's not new or even unusual. I've already pointed out the basic funding frauds of the state lotteries. Many of the "scratch ticket" businesses have a fascinating fraud in that they sell the tickets in two boxes. If the vendor sells the big winning ticket in the

        • The money never makes it to the schools. It becomes tax cuts for the wealthy when funding levels are kept more or less the same. John Oliver has a funny and lengthy video on how the scam works.
  • Cartman spends hours gambling on Counter Strike, then after getting bored with the game, sues Valve for causing him emotional trauma and using his "gambling weakness", recovering all the money he lost and getting a chair at the table to use Valve to threaten and extort money from gambling sites.

    Perfect.

  • Might as well check this box off on the "obvious points to cover" list:

    * Without considering whether or not Valve is reasonably at fault, I'm going to go ahead and say that the man who filed the first suit indicated above wasn't winning. Gee whiz, Mom! I didn't know that actions have consequences, and that sometimes, you lose! Again, regardless of whether Valve should be on the hook or not, I doubt he'd have filed suit if he was a better bettor.
    * For the second lawsuit, where the supposed victim is/wa
    • > I'm going to go ahead and say that the man who filed the first suit indicated above wasn't winning.

      Gamblers don't win in the long run. The house always takes a cut. If they're winning in the long run, they either have knowledge not available to the other gamblers (such as a skilled poker player counting the cards or reading "tells" from the other players), or they're cheating.

      • Anybody can count cards. Despite what casinos say, it's a skill, not a cheat. Hopefully one day a bunch of card counters will do a class action number on the casinos. You should not be discriminated against because you aren't stupid.
  • They wouldn't be able to make fucktons of money off of cosmetics in TF2 and shitty mspaint reskins in CS:GO if everyone could just hop on FPSBanana and download whatever amazing custom model they wanted.

    • You mean like the penis hat?

    • What? You've completely missed the point.

      Everyone since the dawn of time has been able to go to websites like FPSBanana (which still loads slow because apparently it's 2004 or something) and download and install every custom skin/model/voice/particle effect they could possibly want. They can still do this. Thousands of people do. The problem is that such modifications are entirely client side, and thus can only ever be for personal satisfaction.

      The point of microtransaction items like "cosmetics in TF2 and

  • by fubarrr ( 884157 )
    Only Americans can sue each other over games.
  • The CS:GO skins doesn't let you change the look of your character (except for the weapon) and no other items than the weapon. CS:GO skins are weapons (with stickers) only.

    Team Fortress 2 mean-while let you change other parts of your character beyond weapons.

    • The CS:GO skins doesn't let you change the look of your character (except for the weapon) and no other items than the weapon. CS:GO skins are weapons (with stickers) only.

      Team Fortress 2 mean-while let you change other parts of your character beyond weapons.

      Also Team Fortress 2 alternative weapons / skins / items may actually change how the weapon work. In CS:GO it's all just cosmetic and doesn't influence game-play at all.

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