Valve Sued Over CS:GO Gambling
Ashley Allen / 2 years ago
Game developer Valve is being sued for supporting an “illegal online gambling market” within popular first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
The plaintiff, Michael John McLeod of Connecticut, US, alleges that Valve Corporation “has knowingly allowed an illegal online gambling market and has been complicit in creating, sustaining and facilitating [a] market” within which players use weapon skins as betting collateral without age verification, thereby allowing “minor users to place illegal bets.”
In supporting this ecosystem, the suit alleges, Valve is indirectly profiting from illegal gambling through weapon skin purchases. “In the eSports gambling economy, skins are like casino chips that have monetary value outside the game itself because of the ability to convert them directly into cash,” it reads.
“In sum, Valve owns the league, sells the casino chips, and receives a piece of the casino’s income stream through foreign websites in order to maintain the charade that Valve is not promoting and profiting from online gambling, like a modern-day Captain Renault from Casablanca,” the suit says. “That most of the people in the CS:GO gambling economy are teenagers and under 21 makes Valve’s and the other Defendants’ actions even more unconscionable.”
McLeod himself says that he purchased and gambled weapon skins when underage, which he subsequently lost. The plaintiff is seeking to elevate the lawsuit to class action status, meaning that other CS:GO players who lost money through weapon skin gambling could join the suit.