In light of recent controversies, Valve is taking steps to ban item gambling for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Valve, who has found itself as part of a lawsuit alongside YouTubers Trevor Martin (TMartn) and Thomas Cassell (Pro Syndicate), is taking action. The lawsuit accuses the company of knowingly letting betting sites like CSGO Lotto exist in the first place. Steam’s API allowed users to connect their Steam accounts to these type of sites, upload their skins, and begin gambling. Now, the company is putting its foot down.
The company released a statement today distancing itself from these sites. According to them, Valve has no business relationships with these sites and has not received any revenue from them. Going forward, the company is asking the owners of the sites to cease all operations through Steam, effectively banning item gambling. Here’s the full statement:
“In 2011, we added a feature to Steam that enabled users to trade in-game items as a way to make it easier for people to get the items they wanted in games featuring in-game economies.
“Since then a number of gambling sites started leveraging the Steam trading system, and there’s been some false assumptions about our involvement with these sites. We’d like to clarify that 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.
“These sites have basically pieced together their operations in two-part fashion. First, they are using the OpenID API as a way for users to prove ownership of their Steam accounts and items. Any other information they obtain about a user’s Steam account is either manually disclosed by the user or obtained from the user’s Steam Community profile (when the user has chosen to make their profile public). Second, they create automated Steam accounts that make the same web calls as individual Steam users.
“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. Users should probably consider this information as they manage their in-game item inventory and trade activity.”
This is a good step for Valve to make, though the lawsuit will most likely continue onward. As for Trevor Martin and Thomas Cassell, Valve’s decision will not likely affect their place in the lawsuit, but will cut out a source of their income (they are the owners of CSGO Lotto). We’ll keep you updated should there be anymore announcements regarding ongoing litigation.