Jul 14 2016 - 12:41 am
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Lurppis' and Thorin's Take on the Valve Announcement

Valve today announced far reaching changes to gambling on their platforms.
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The Valve Corporation, creater of Steam, and owner of major esports title Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2, announced changes to the game's weapon skin trading earlier today. Weapon skins in the game are cosmetic items that can be bought and sold on the Steam, Valve’s computer game platform, for real money.

A number of websites have popped up since skins were released in 2013 that allow them to be traded, sold, or gambled on their proprietary sites. This was achieved using Steam login identifiers that were open to the community.

Valve announced their intentions to limit this unregulated market and said that they will be requesting that gambling sites cease operations through the Steam platform. This is very big news as it will almost certainly bring an end to CS:GO gambling. There is not a way for sites to access player’s inventories to facilitate gambling without a way into the Steam platform.

The decision was made shortly after a large community outcry over popular gambling site CSGO Lotto. It was recently discovered that several prominent content creators owned the site, while also showing videos of it on their YouTube channels without disclosing that they owned it. This ruling could also lead to that site having to shut down.

One of the many remaining questions is whether sites such as OP Skins and CSGOLounge will be able to continue to use the Steam identifier. OP Skins is a skin marketplace where users spend money outside of Steam buying and selling skins, and CSGOLounge is primarily a betting website where users bet skins on the outcome of CS:GO matches. 

Lurppis, a former professional Counter-Strike 1.6 player and current commentator, had this to say on the announcement, "Valve needed to sort out betting/gambling for a while now, so the fact they have finally acted is good. However, it remains unclear whether this affects betting on matches, or only the casino-type games. The former will affect viewership, which then has trickle-down effects across the CS:GO world. The latter is, as long as it remains ungoverned (allowing underaged kids to play) cancerous, and should have been banned earlier, which would be a good decision overall, and while there will be short-term pains, it's better to have them now and be better off for the long-term, than vice versa. What I am most looking for in this is whether it shuts down sites that allow betting on results, and if so, how much that affects the game's viewership -- as the effect can be fairly substantial, I think."

I don't even understand what the announcement is.
- Thorin

Thorin, another influential Counter-Strike commentator, also weighed in on this decision saying, "I don't even understand what the announcement is, at no point in time do they explain what they mean by gambling. They don't say if it's skin betting on matches, or abstract token bettting like diamonds etc."

With so many questions remaining, it will most likely take a long time to sort this all out. This announcement, though, will have a large impact on the game and the community, and in addition to CS:GO, it will also affect Valve published games DOTA 2 and Team Fortress 2, along with their respective gambling communities.

You can read more about Valve's decision here- http://store.steampowered.com/news/22883/

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