Jess Colwill, January 4, 2017

CS:GO Skin Gambling Lawsuit Reappears in District Court

The class action lawsuit against Valve for allegedly enabling underage gambling through Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skin betting is back on again, this time in a district court.

As reported in The Seattle Times in late December (via The Esports Observer), the suit represents unnamed parents in Oregon, Illinois, and Missouri who claim their children have lost “thousands of dollars” on the CS:GO skin marketplace.

This is the same case that was dismissed in October last year after a judge ordered that the case was not suitable for a Federal Court. As expected, it has now been moved to a District Court where it will be heard instead.

The lawsuit alleges that Valve is running a tacit gambling operation in their “back room” that gives people the ability to gamble, allows gambling operators to “set up shop” with their system, and then turns a blind eye to the results by saying there is nothing they can do.

“Valve had the power to prevent the gambling operators from setting up shop, chose not to stop them, and in fact gave them the keys to the back room,” the suit alleges.

Valve has yet to formally respond to this particular suit, but their last official correspondence on the skin gambling matter was a strongly-worded letter to the Washington State Gambling Commission in which they explained that they have “no business relationship with such gambling sites, and indeed they can come into existence, operate, and go out of existence without Valve’s knowledge.”

“We do not want to turn off the Steam services [in-game items, Steam trading, and OpenID] that skin gambling sites have taken advantage of. In-game items, Steam trading, and OpenID have substantial benefits for Steam customers and Steam game-making partners.”

The case is ongoing. Look for more coverage as the year rolls on.

Jess Colwill

Jess is a writer and dog-lover from the eastern coast of Australia, who loves playing games (particularly anything by BioWare), listening to metal, baking, and fostering rescue dogs while they wait for new homes. You can find her on Twitter at @notsocryptic.