Valve Officially Stomps Down on Gambling Websites

By Darth Saul Published 14th Jul 2016

Twitch streamers are no longer allowed to stream gambling, and restrictions are being placed on Valve's OpenID API system.

Recently, there has been a lot of controversy over CS:GO gambling websites, especially so with CSGOLotto and CSGODiamonds. While underage gambling has always been an issue in regards to these un-regulated websites, it was discovered how TmartTn and TheSyndicateProject owned CSGOLotto and promoted it via YouTube and Twitch without leaving disclaimers. Just before this incident, it was also found how m0e, a popular North American streamer and analyst, had ties to CSGODiamonds, including getting lists of future rolls without disclaiming. All of this combined sparked a front against the gambling scene of CS:GO, and one even took a lawsuit to Valve itself.{br}{br}

This controversy also led to CS:GO being painted in a negative light, and was attributed to the significant blow to the viewership of the latest major, ESL One Cologne 2016 (a loss of nearly 500k viewers). Finally, Valve stepped up and decided to officially end the gambling scene. {url=}They issued the following statement;[/url]{br}

{br}{quote}In 2011, we added a feature to Steam that enabled users to trade in-game items as a way to make it easier for people to get the items they wanted in games featuring in-game economies.{br}{br}

Since then a number of gambling sites started leveraging the Steam trading system, and there’s been some false assumptions about our involvement with these sites. We’d like to clarify that we have no business relationships with any of these sites. We have never received any revenue from them. And Steam does not have a system for turning in-game items into real world currency.{br}{br}

These sites have basically pieced together their operations in a two-part fashion. First, they are using the OpenID API as a way for users to prove ownership of their Steam accounts and items. Any other information they obtain about a user's Steam account is either manually disclosed by the user or obtained from the user’s Steam Community profile (when the user has chosen to make their profile public). Second, they create automated Steam accounts that make the same web calls as individual Steam users. {br}{br}

Using the OpenID API and making the same web calls as Steam users to run a gambling business is not allowed by our API nor our user agreements. We are going to start sending notices to these sites requesting they cease operations through Steam, and further pursue the matter as necessary. Users should probably consider this information as they manage their in-game item inventory and trade activity.{br}{br}

-Erik Johnson{/quote}

Basically, all gambling sites use the OpenID API provided by Valve as an authentication system for accounts. Because these sites rely on this, Valve has now put restrictions on the OpenID system, and will be sending Cease and Desist notices to companies and websites that violate their terms of service. Twitch will also no longer allow streamers to gamble CS:GO items on stream, as they do not allow violation of the third party terms of service. Their statement on this matter can be found {url=}here[/url].{br}{br}

Major websites have already started notifying their users of how their services will be terminated in the near future, including CSGODouble and CSGOWild. In-fact, {url=}CSGOWild will not even allow their users to withdraw their items[/url], further supporting how shady the unrestricted gambling scene is for CS:GO.{br}{br}

{img=csgo_gambling.jpg}CSGODouble is officially ceasing their service, and deposits are no longer accepted.{/img}

If you have any items deposited into sites such as CSGODouble, you should withdraw them as soon as possible to ensure you get your items back.

Darth Saul

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