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Valve’s gambling problem

Counter Strike and gambling have gone hand in hand for quite some time now. The very nature of creating a platform with skins that are given real world values based on their rarity means that players develop basic demands for certain skins – Maybe they really like the look of a knife or want to resell them for a profit. Regardless, there was only four ways to acquire the skins they want; unboxing, trading, buying or gambling.

Unboxing a factory new karambit fade is… unlikely, at best. You have to pour your hard earned cash into steam, buy the appropriate keys and mindlessly open case after case hoping to get something worth more than twenty pence, let alone the original value of the key. This meant the only sure way to get the skin you wanted was buying it directly from the steam market. This was in itself a problem due to Valve taking a percentage of the earnings with each item sold, meaning the sellers would have to up the price of their skins to profit from it.

The problem with trading skins is simple. If you want to trade something, you must first have a desirable skin to give away. This becomes almost meaningless when skins have monetary values as many people won’t bother downgrading their skins, meaning the trading scene is usually left to players with a lot of disposable income and vast collections.

This leaves one last option. Gambling. Hundreds of CSGO gambling sites cropped up on the internet. This was great for the everyday player as it meant they could deposit their existing skins rather than directly put money into the site with the promise of withdrawing more, though like all gambling, the risks far outweigh the rewards.

Valve have had some issues with these gambling sites, trying to implement measures to delay and inhibit their ability to let users gamble their skins. One example would be them delaying the time one can receive and trade an item. This meant the sites had to get creative. One such workaround was ‘express trading’, meaning people could trade their skins as much as they wanted on the site, but when the person who ended up with it actually withdrew it, only they would be hit with the valve waiting time.

Recently, one of the biggest gambling sites, OPSkins, received a cease and desist from Valve, meaning they would have to stop using Valves intellectual property. This could be devastating for the entire industry, meaning the future for CSGO gambling is uncertain at best.

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