I am sure most of you are already familiar with the concepts behind skin gambling. For those of you who are not, there's a paragraph below explaining it in the shortest fashion. For now, let's assume you're familiar with the matter (or you have at least skimmed through the section which explains it down below)! Recently, there have been many incidents regarding illegal eSports betting. More precisely, regarding skin betting which is becoming more popular than ever (most popular with CS: GO and DOTA 2). This 5-billion-dollar industry has continued strong even though it's been heavily attacked by both Valve and Steam (the biggest gaming platform out there) as well as law regulations worldwide. That's exactly what drove US Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. to issue a statement regarding underage and unregulated online betting… and quite frankly, I could not agree with him more.
“Gambling is taking new forms—from daily fantasy sports, to betting on e-sports, and even online casino games using virtual ‘skins’ instead of cash—that attempt to bypass the law… Current federal gambling laws are hopelessly out of date, leaving the American public vulnerable to unscrupulous behavior. No matter the form of the games, we must ensure integrity, accountability, and basic consumer protections, including appropriate age limits, are in place.”
What is skin gambling?
Here's a brief explanation of the concept behind skin gambling. You see, it's a rather innovative way of “implementing” value in in-game items (something that Steam does perfectly) and using them for various types of betting. These types of betting range from casino-styled games such as lotto or slots, to real bets on eSports matches. These skin gambling sites are doing all they can to keep themselves under the radar and continue with their illegal operations despite many warnings from Steam and other public outcries. Skin gambling would not be an issue if there was any way of effectively regulating it. Unfortunately, due to the fact all of these websites are third party and are doing all they came to remain clear of TOU agreements violations with f.e. Steam or other gaming services, laws have no control over them.
Skin gambling is now a federal issue!
With those statements coming from US Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., one thing is for sure – this whole skin gambling show is not a federal issue. What does this mean? Well, it means that all such illegal online gambling activities will be monitored more than ever. What could that mean for the eSports betting industry in general? Well, believe it or not, this is a very good news for eSports betting. If there are finally some sorts of regulations available, it would mean that eSports betting will become legal in more countries. This will, of course, result in an even bigger explosion in the industry and will lead to massive improvements across the board.
About the Author: Article written by Hipster Jesus, eSports enthusiast and an active member of the CS: GO community. In his free time, he likes to rush B on competitive servers and scream “CYKA BLYAT” at trolls. Contact “Hipster Jesus” on Twitter.