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Old 07-20-2016, 07:36 PM   #1
Emabulator
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Valve Sends Cease And Desist Notice To CS:GO Gambling Sites #CSGO


Game Informer has the story.

Quote:
Last week, shortly after YouTubers Tom Cassell and Trevor Martin were outed as owners of CS:GO Lotto, a site both of them promoted in their content without disclosing ownership, Valve issued a statement that the company would go after gambling companies centered around tradeable Steam items. Turns out Valve is living up to its promise, having sent out a cease and desist letter to 23 gambling sites centered around Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Here's the statement from Valve:

We are aware that you are operating one of the gambling sites listed below. You are using Steam accounts to conduct this business. Your use of Steam is subject to the terms of the Steam Subscriber Agreement (“SSA”). Under the SSA Steam and Steam services are licensed for persona, non-commercial use only. Your commercial use of Steam accounts is unlicensed and in violation of the SSA. You should immediately cease and desist further use of your Steam accounts for any commercial purposes. If you fail to do this within ten (10) days Valve will pursue all available remedies including without limitation terminating your accounts.

A full copy of the letter is included right here.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:23 AM   #2
Scherge
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Stupid outsider question(s): Are these weapon skins transferred from account to account (meaning that closing an account would effectively destroy these sites' business immediately), or are they Steam codes that anyone can input?

If it's the latter, would closing down the accounts in question accomplish anything? If it's the former, how on Earth does this betting-outside-Steam system work? Are the skins preemptively uploaded to the "casino's" Steam accounts by the gamblers?
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:50 AM   #3
PacerDawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scherge View Post
Stupid outsider question(s): Are these weapon skins transferred from account to account (meaning that closing an account would effectively destroy these sites' business immediately), or are they Steam codes that anyone can input?
They are inventory items. If they are on a questionable account when the account is shut down... poof. These guys will probably just trade everything to their regular accounts or something and cash out.

Quote:
If it's the former, how on Earth does this betting-outside-Steam system work? Are the skins preemptively uploaded to the "casino's" Steam accounts by the gamblers?
These sites use dummy Steam accounts (bots). When people bet skins, all of the skins put into the inventory of one of the bots. When a person wins, the bot starts a trade with the winner and trades the winnings via a standard Steam trade transaction. I believe the bots also offload a percent of the skins to another bot as the "fee", which is how the site owners profit. This is all automated on the bot side via the Steam API.

One of the controversies with this recently was that yootoober Trevor Martin (owner of CS GO Lotto) was actually logged into Steam as one of the trading bots. This was captured in a live stream, where he was showing how to gamble and forgot he had a tab open with the bot logged in. He clicked that tab (since he had closed his original tab) and it briefly showed the bot login before he was quickly able to refresh the page (oops).

Anyway, Steam hasn't really cared about this until recently, when this whole skin gambling controversy erupted. Now suddenly they are cracking down? And not really cracking down, but just warning that they are going to crack down ("You better stop it or else!"). That tells me they do not really care about their TOS, other that something to fall back on for PR should things like this come up.

It also tells me they are not really interested in shutting down these sites. Seriously, if they REALLY wanted to come down on these guys they could have (per their TOS) just closed the bot accounts right away rather than giving the site owners a 10 day grace period to recover their inventories.
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