One of CS:GO’s biggest skin sites was just banned in Australia. Will other countries follow suit?
Skin-gambling giant CSGORoll has been removed entirely from Australia this week after allegedly breaching laws within subsection 15(2A) of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. While Australia may be a smaller section of the Counter-Strike community, could this be a sign of another shift in the esport industry?
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (AMCA) found CSGORoll provided “prohibited interactive gambling services”, leading to a warning being sent in March, and it eventually being withdrawn on May 16, 2023.
The org, which was recently announced as a G2 Esports sponsor, claims it’s a “P2P Skin Marketplace,” all while providing “in-game coins that could be used to gamble on casino-style games,” according to the AMCA.
Media release: Online gaming company Feral Holdings Limited has been given a formal warning and its CS:GO Roll website has been withdrawn from Australia after the company was found to be providing prohibited interactive gambling services.https://t.co/qgIqq3swVI pic.twitter.com/ZzfbrGNDWE
— ACMA (@acmadotgov) May 16, 2023
This stoked fears of “converting gamers into gamblers,” provoking a swift response from the Australian authority—and there’s every chance more countries follow suit.
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin called skin-gambling sites like CSGORoll “particularly concerning as they tap into a youth market,” and for long-time Counter-Strike players, this is almost a trip down memory lane. Previously, the Washington Gambling Commission sent letters to Gabe Newel as the 2016 gambling crisis reached its peak, inevitably forcing Valve to take action.
Then, in 2016, the CS:GO skin community was rocked by changes via Valve’s movement against websites like CSGOLounge and CSGOFast. Sites were hit with cease and desist letters, forcing them to change their approach or face further action.
Since Australia’s drawn a line in the sand, and with the U.S. already attempting to quell any negative impact from skin-based gambling years prior, there’s a strong chance this could happen again.
These laws and regulations typically end up twisting Valve’s arm, leading to changes to the gambling systems in place, and they’ve recently restarted this process.
Other gambling websites in the industry had already taken aim at CSGORoll, claiming they were an “illegal operation.”
CSGORoll already garnered controversy after their G2 sponsorship announcement fell flat. Their use of m0NESY rattled a few cages in the CS:GO community too.
The announcement video was released on the day m0NESY turned 18, with the Russian AWPer featuring heavily throughout the sales clip. Unless the video was shot, edited, and released entirely on his birthday, m0NESY would have actually been 17 years old during filming, which spurred hefty criticism from the community.
With the CSGORoll site now in the crosshairs of at least one country and hordes of Counter-Strike fans-alike, it seems the ban Down Under may just be the first domino.
About the author
CS:GO, Overwatch, and Valorant Staff Writer – Played CS:GO since 2012 and keep a close eye on other titles. Give me a game and I'll write about it. Ranks are private information. Contact [email protected]