A couple of days ago, United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC from now on) released an official paper. The paper discusses the issue of illegal skin betting and potential ways to stop it. They urged game publishers to do their best in order to put an end to such sites. Why? In short, because they promote an unregulated betting environment. Underage CS:GO betting is also a major issue and a reason why such sites are such a danger to our youth.
CEO Sarah Harrison described the sites as “parasitic” and expressed her worry regarding underage gambling they provide. From her words, it is easy to conclude she believes illegal skin betting sites are dangerous to our youth. She also touched the subject of FUTGalaxy, a website whose owner and his colleague (both from the UK) were under prosecution for promoting illegal gambling. What they did was not related to skins, but it worked in a similar fashion and, ultimately, enabled teenagers to gamble online. Tracey Crouch, the minister in charge of gambling, also expressed her concerns about illegal websites allowing children to gamble. It's clear that the UK government has their eyes on illegal gambling activities with high hopes they'll put an end to them soon.
Publishers act as banks
In the systems behind various popular eSports gambling sites, Steam acts as a bank. Believe it or not, it's true! Steam provides its users with in-game skins (value). Steam users bet their skins on various third party websites. If they lose all of their skins, what will they end up doing? They will most likely spend more money on Steam wallet, buy more skins and then gamble again. That gives Steam the monopoly when it comes to illegal skin betting websites due to their well-developed user trading system. Here's what the paper had to say about this issue:
“Where a player loses their entire ‘skin’ inventory having staked them unsuccessfully on gambling activities, one option for them is to purchase new ‘skins’ from the games publishers, either for use within the game or for further gambling stakes.”
Now, even though Valve looks to be keen on shutting down such sites, it's still common knowledge that they are making good money off of it. Indirectly, of course. Whether or not they are really doing their best to stop illegal betting activities… I'll let you be the judge of that. One thing is for sure, though – CSGO would not be this popular if it wasn't for skin betting!
Illegal skin betting promotes eSports franchises
Even if the above-stated sentence might seem shocking and unbelievable at first, trust me – it's true. Perhaps not in a huge manner but nevertheless – illegal skin betting definitely served as great CSGO promotion campaign. It can be considered as an outside activity by the community which helps bring people closer to each other… and the game itself. That's pretty much the goal of certain marketing campaign types – to get people involved with the product one way or the other. That's a cold hard fact! So with that in mind, tell us what you think! Is Valve really doing all they can to stop illegal gambling activities, or are they still enjoying free promotion?
That's all for today folks! I hope you had a wonderful time reading this informative article. Until next time, I wish you all the best! May your betting slips get you some lunch money and your combo ones a BWM!
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.