Valve “Surprised and Disappointed” in Washington Gambling Commission

Valve replies to Washington Gambling Commission, and denies blame and wrongdoing.

Valve Corporation denies blame in facilitating or promoting gambling. The letter, published at TechRaptor, comes just days after the Oct. 14 deadline to provide evidence that Valve has brought the company in full compliance with Washington State gambling laws.

The company expressed dismay at the Washington State Gambling Commission’s accusations. “We were surprised and disappointed that the Commission chose to publicly accuse Valve of illegal activity and threaten our employees with criminal charges,” the letter states. The company claims that they do not faciliate gambling and suggests that there are no legal grounds for the Commission’s accuations. 

As we have explained on multiple occasions, Valve is not engaged in gambling or the promotion of gambling, and we do not “facilitate” gambling.

In a clear rebuttal of allegations, Valve challenged the Commission with the question, “If there is a specific criminal statute or regulation you believe Valve is violating, please provide a citation.” 

Valve claims no wrongdoing, pointing to warnings sent to customers about Steam trading and citing its efforts to shut down skin gambling accounts in violation of the Steam terms of service in July. 

To Valve, there is but one course of action available to combat illicit gambling: to enforce user agreements against Steam accounts, offering to work together with the Commission to identify more illegal skins gambling sites. 

But the company is adamant about one thing. Skins are “part of the game” and Steam services are not going to be shut off. 

We do not want to turn off the Steam services, described above, that skin gambling sites have taken advantage of … We do not believe it is the Commission’s intention, nor is it within the Commission’s authority, to turn off lawful commercial and communication services that are not directed to gambling in Washington

It is unclear how the Commision will respond. In a statement issued Oct. 17, before Valve’s reply, Commissioner Chris Stearns had this to say, “The type of approach Valve decides to take will be very important.” 

What do you think about this latest development in the skins gambling debate? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom

Patrick “Sabo” Flannigan is one of the first esports casters, starting with TsN in 2001.
He currently writes about esports, continues to cast and hosts This Week in CS.

Follow @patflannigan