CS:GO players claim ‘nothing will change’ after Valve’s gambling ban

On May 9, Valve made “gambling” a bannable offense on Steam. The decision quickly made the news and sparked a discussion among CS:GO players, some of who believe it won’t change a thing in the highly unsupervised skin market.

The news made it to Reddit on May 10, where a part of CS:GO community agreed it was a wise move and one to stop the shady skin and gambling market from growing. But there are also a lot of players who claim this won’t change anything and is just a legal stance from the developers, who on their own endorse gambling with CS:GO cases or by allowing gambling sites to be a sponsor of BLAST.tv Paris Major.

New Steam Terms of Service state players aren’t allowed to participate in behaviors such as “posting advertisements; running contests; gambling; buying or selling Steam accounts; selling content, gift cards, or other items; and begging.” Although, many players call out opening CS:GO cases could be called gambling, for example, which makes this entry in the ToS vague and unclear.

A short May 10 update on Steam announced the recent update is “intended to add context and specificity to how we already apply these in practice to all behaviors and content across Steam.” This statement, though, encouraged some to claim “nothing will change.”

“They literally just released a $2 Anubis gambling box and we are actively gambling with Pick Ems and Souvenir boxes,” one player wrote. “Not saying these gambling sites aren’t more shady than Valve, but to say Valve doesn’t promote gambling through loot boxes is doing some serious mental gymnastics,” another added.

Valve is making millions of dollars lately due to the release of Counter-Strike 2 looming, which made the players spend over $100 million for case openings in March 2023 alone. For some, this is yet another reason to call out Valve, claiming it only tries to ban unregulated websites that don’t gain them any profit.

Related: Counter-Strike fans fear gambling endemic is regressing to mid-2010 levels

Still, on the other hand, there are a bunch of unregulated sites that allow gambling, selling, and trading CS:GO skins. In recent months, there has been a surge of streamers marketing skin sites, with one of them even becoming a sponsor of G2 Esports.

This state of affairs made players worry the situation is getting out of control, and gambling is once again becoming an issue in the Counter-Strike community. So the idea of Valve trying to regulate it in any capacity is more than welcomed, but, a lot of players are simply worried it’s just a ruse. We’ll have to wait and see whether the devs strictly apply this policy in the nearby future.

About the author

Mateusz Miter

Polish Staff Writer. Mateusz previously worked for numerous outlets and gaming-adjacent companies, including ESL. League of Legends or CS:GO? He loves them both. In fact, he wonders which game he loves more every day. He wanted to go pro years ago, but somewhere along the way decided journalism was the more sensible option—and he was right.

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