On July 20th, Valve notified 23 betting sites that utilize their platform ‘Steam’ to keep things running. Basically stating that they will ban external sites from asking users to connect their Steam accounts to trade their in-game items for real money.
Additionally, they also started shutting down many of the well-known gambling sites, ordering them to cease and desist. While some are still active, most have crumbled down. Leading most of the community to think that gambling in two of the major eSports (Dota 2 and CS GO) is on its way to the grave. However, that could not be farther from the truth. Now much like real sports, fans can use legitimate ways to bet on trusted sites like Bet 365, betway and Pinnacle. Admittedly virtual skin gambling played a big part in the growth of eSports. Attracting many big names to the industry and boosting the scene financially, but it also kept it down with many cases of illegal gambling by underage kids. Which lead to giants like Valve getting sued by both players and fans, eventually forcing these actions.
The British Gambling Commission, the authority responsible for regulating lotteries and commercial gambling, has also 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 could bet in-game skins with real-money value on the outcome of competitive CS:GO matches and various casino games without any strict age verifications. Therefore it is easy to see why the pros might be outweighed by the cons, if anything the current state is superior in many ways.
If Valve finally manages to shut down all sites using the Steam platform as a way of trading skins, then immature gamblers that sneaked their way in will no longer be able to feed their addiction. Since most of the sites that allow people to bet in real money force the users to go through a much stricter authentication process. As a result, we will probably never see a random 15-year-old kid make Youtube tutorial on how to bet in eSports without their parents receiving a notification on their verified financial account.
Now don’t get us wrong, we definitely believe that the freedom of people to gamble is worth something, just take a look at our site and you will see it’s been dedicated to this cause since Day 1, also economists believe that the satisfaction of those who want to gamble can lead to great growth for an industry. Economists measure this and call it consumer surplus and can, in theory, estimate the dollar value of consumer surplus. However, in order to realize the true potential of legitimate gambling in eSports, we must embrace it in and accept that it is a superior way to skin gambling. Fans can still experience excitement from putting something on the line, there is just more authentication in the way that actually makes the scene cleaner.
So if you are finally willing to give up on virtual skin betting and take up the legitimate way to put something on the line, check out our page dedicated to providing you the best sources to put your hard earned money to work. Also for eSports tips, check out tips section, which we will be updating regularly from now on with the expert analysis.