A new lawsuit has been filed against Valve for felicitating the operations of an illegal online gambling market for one of its most popular shooters: Counter Strike: Global Offensive. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Michael John McLeod, who is a resident of Connecticut.
Polygon reported that the suit was filed against the trading of weapon skins in bets, which is similar to real gambling. The suit also pointed out that the skins act as casino chips as they can be cashed in for real money using various CS:GO gambling websites.
The suit says, “In the eSports gambling economy, skins are like casino chips that have monetary value outside the game itself because of the ability to convert them directly into cash.”
The trading of skins cannot actually be done via Steam but through some third party Counter Strike: Global Offensive websites. The lawsuit also points out that these websites doesn’t even do age verification, which leads to the participation of under aged players.
The lawsuit also alleges that Valve is taking a cut from all the profits made from this practice as the transactions are made through Steam’s Marketplace.
“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 lawsuit asserts.
McLeod’s lawyers are also looking for class-action statuses and asking for an unspecified damage amounts because the plaintiff himself lost money while gambling skins both as a minor and adult in Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
It will be interesting how Valve responds as they would certainly be not happy to give away any amount too easily or admit to promoting gambling activities.