Jess Colwill, February 1, 2017

Valve Going After Team Fortress 2 Hat Betting Next

We haven’t heard from the Counter-Strike: GO skin gambling controversy in a while, after Valve effectively shut it all down last year, but now GabeN is turning his ire to the hat-betting TF2 community as well.

The latest on skin gambling was a cease and desist order from the Washington State Gambling Commission in October, to which Valve effectively replied, “What more can we do?” It seems that Valve answered their own question by looking to their other first-person shooter with cosmetic collectables: Team Fortress 2.

The addition of hats to TF2 has a surprisingly storied history and was unsurprisingly controversial. Valve has announced the latest chapter in that story now, saying they have begun the process of cracking down on TF2 gambling sites.

“In July of last year we outlined our position on gambling web sites, specifically noting that Valve has no business relationship with these sites. At that time we also began blocking many CSGO gambling accounts. You can view the original post here.

“More recently, some gambling web sites started leveraging TF2 items. Today we began the process of blocking TF2 gambling accounts as well. We recommend you don’t trade with these sites.”

When Valve took on the CS:GO skin betting circuit, the ramifications were felt for months to come. Now, TF2 isn’t exactly the blockbuster esport that CS:GO is, so it might be the case that this flies right under the radar. But given the hat economy’s history of money laundering and hat barons, it might yet have some interesting results.

If you’ve got the time, listen to Idle Thumbs insider look at the surprising underbelly of the TF2 hat economy below.

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.