Valve’s latest assault on CS:GO skin traders shows dev’s commitment to fighting gambling

Valve has started to swing the ban hammer on CS:GO skin traders who use gambling websites like CSGOEmpire mere days after it added gambling to the list of bannable offenses on Steam on May 9. At least three notable skin traders have been banned since the Steam Online Conduct blog was updated.

The accounts banned purportedly had CS:GO inventories worth $250,000, $200,000, and $185,000 and were seemingly affiliated with CSGOEmpire, according to CS:GO personality DonHaci. CSGOEmpire is a website in which users can gamble and trade skins or sell them for money.

Although these bans point to a Valve offensive against CS:GO gambling sites in general, one known skin trader named Grizzly pointed out that the company might be going after sites like CSGOEmpire because it offers cryptocurrency withdrawals. These websites are largely used by scammers since they can easily exchange the stolen skins for crypto money.

“Sites that offer crypto withdrawals like Empire are a source of trade bans because it attracts a high concentration of scammed skins,” Grizzly wrote in a Twitter thread. “[The bans are] related to crypto sites like Empire/Russian sites, not gambling as a whole imo.”

So far, it’s impossible to know what Valve is specifically targeting until the CS:GO developer shares more details. All that Valve has made public is that gambling is a bannable offense along with begging or selling content, gift cards, and other items.

If Valve chooses to go after websites used by scammers, it could diminish the number of CS:GO skins stolen through Steam because the perpetrators wouldn’t be able to sell the skins to said websites. But due to the lack of communication, there are legitimate skin collectors wondering if Valve will ban their account if they deal with any skin website.

Dot Esports has reached out to Valve for comment.

About the author

Leonardo Biazzi

Staff writer and CS:GO lead. Leonardo has been passionate about games since he was a kid and graduated in Journalism in 2018. Before Leonardo joined Dot Esports in 2019, he worked for Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte. Leonardo also worked for between 2020 and 2021 as a senior writer, until he returned to Dot Esports and became part of the staff team.

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