For the past few weeks, a popular Counter Strike GO lottery website, CSGOlotto.com, has been under some serious fire. The reason behind this is that the two popular YouTubers, Trevor “Tmartn” Martin and Tom “Syndicate” Cassel, were found out to be the owners of the website. Now this wouldn’t have been much of an issue, except for the tiny matter of this technically being a gambling website and they did not disclose that they owned the website. So after creating video after video promoting the website, not once did they.make it known that they were the owners of the website. That’s what’s causing the huge stink here as many are now feeling cheated and ripped off. So now as you can imagine, both of them are in some pretty nasty legal matters.
Arstechnica has a really good and in-depth read about the entire situation. Definitely, read it over to get up to speed if you aren’t aren’t. In addition, another popular YoutTuber, H3, has created a damned good video if reading isn’t your thing or if you’re pressed for time.
However, they aren’t the only ones. Valve Software, the company being beloved games such as Counter Strike, Half Life and Portal, are also being named in several pending lawsuits. So far, Valve Software has been included due to allegedly, profiting from the CSGOLotto transactions. One lawsuit, in particular, claims the following;
“In sum, Valve owns the league, sells the casino chips, and receives a piece of the casino’s income stream through foreign websites in order to maintain the charade that Valve is not promoting and profiting from online gambling, like a modern-day Captain Renault from Casablanca,” the suit alleges. “That most of the people in the CS:GO gambling economy are teenagers and under 21 makes Valve’s and the other Defendants’ actions even more unconscionable.”
Multiple outlets have counted Valve regarding this allegation, with no word back just yet. However, it has been reported by Geoff Keighley that Valve is sending out notes to cease operations if they use Open API.
Looks like Valve is going to shut down lotto sites. Sending them notes to cease operations if they use Open API.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) July 13, 2016
This could potentially force many sites to fold and disappear, while many others would like try and fight this. Keep in mind that this is a huge money maker here and the amounts made off this are in the millions, if not billions. Yet at the same time, this isn’t the first time that people attempted to get Valve to clean up their act and get rid of this business, but it definitely appears to be the first one to get Valve to enact on their behalf.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this very shortly.
Update: Valve has officially replied to the allegations against them and has officially stated that all sites using the Open API, must close down.
“In 2011, we added a feature to Steam that enabled users to trade in-game items as a way to make it easier for people to get the items they wanted in games featuring in-game economies,” says Valve’s Erik Johnson. “Since then a number of gambling sites started leveraging the Steam trading system, and there’s been some false assumptions about our involvement with these sites. We’d like to clarify that we have no business relationships with any of these sites. We have never received any revenue from them. And Steam does not have a system for turning in-game items into real world currency.”
“Using the OpenID API and making the same web calls as Steam users to run a gambling business is not allowed by our API nor our user agreements. We are going to start sending notices to these sites requesting they cease operations through Steam, and further pursue the matter as necessary. Users should probably consider this information as they manage their in-game item inventory and trade activity.”
More info on the matter over at Gamesindustry.biz.
Credit: Geoff Keighley Twitter