Washington State Orders Valve to End Skin Gambling

Skin Gambling

Leave gambling to gamblers and gaming to gamers, says the Washington Gambling Commission in an order sent to Valve, the Washington-based video game developer behind some of the most celebrated titles of the past decade.

While some of the latest video slots proved everyone that the difference between traditional games and gambling games is a lot more subtle than many might think, (yes, I'm looking at you Castle Builder and DJ Wild) a recent order from the Washington Gambling Commission aims to draw a clear separation between the two.

In the attempt to regulate the so-called "skin gambling" in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the Gambling Commission urged Valve to "put an end to the practice" and "stop allowing the transfer" of gun skins for gambling through their online platform, Steam.

According to the order issued on Wednesday, Valve has time until October 14 to implement the request of the Commission. After that date, the company might face a "civil or criminal action."

Leave gambling to gamblers and gaming to gamers, says the Washington Gambling Commission.

As Engadget's Jon Fingas reports, Commissioner Chris Stern justified the order by saying that 'skin betting' generated a "large and unregulated black market" that generated transactions for more than $1 billion at CSGO alone during the first nine months of 2016.

Due to the nature of the games, it's Stern's opinion that skin betting might increase the risk of underage gambling as teenagers "don't face the barriers to entry that they do in the real world."

What is Skin Gambling?

Skin Gambling, which is often also referred to as Item Betting, is a common practice in the eSports world and it consists in betting on the outcomes of eSports matches. The difference between skin betting and regular betting is that eSports players risk in-game items (the 'skins') instead of cash.

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