Counter-Strike maker sued over gambling links

Counter-Strike maker sued over gambling links

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 Totally Gaming
Valve is a leading developer of video games

Leading video game developer Valve is being sued over its involvement in illegal online skins betting in the US.

The maker of Counter-Strike has been named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Connecticut man. Lawyers for Michael John McLeod allege Valve, through its Steam marketplace, allowed and/or supported illegal gambling. The lawsuit says the matter could be subject to class action, and could therefore cover anyone in the US who used their Steam account to bet on skins games.

Skins are weapon colours that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) gamers can use in-game or trade with others. The suit suggests the skins can be used as currency in games such as roulette on unregulated third-party websites. The lawyers allege that by allowing gamers to use their Steam accounts on these sites, Valve is complicit in the online gambling, which is illegal in all but three US states.

"Valve has knowingly allowed an illegal online gambling market and has been complicit in creating, sustaining and facilitating that market," the suit states. "In sum, Valve owns the league, sells the casino chips, and receives a piece of the casino's income stream through foreign websites.

"The plaintiff and members of the proposed class were injured as a direct and proximate result of the defendant's illegal activities.

"Because they paid for items and wagers that were unregulated, illegal gambling activities ripe for fraud, abuse and theft, and with no way of knowing whether they were fairly run." says: “With the huge amounts of money gambled every day through skins, the action – if successful - could potentially have significant ramifications for Valve and its rivals.”

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