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Monday, July 11, 2016

CS: GO Gambling Fiasco


So, what is this “CS: GO Gambling Fiasco” and what does it mean?

Well, let me break it down for you. YouTubers Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Tom “ProSyndicate” Cassell are in trouble for creating a site called CSGOLotto.com thanks to the investigation of fellow YouTuber “HonorTheCall”. Let's note that Martin and Cassell have had a videogame and internet lawyer involved from the start. Valve has also had a class action lawsuit against them for unregulated gambling.

This site allows you put these skins into a pot that will randomly pick a participant and that participant will receive all of the skins within the pot. This done by signing into your steam and allowing the website to use the Steam trade system on your behalf. This is where the suit comes into play with Counter Strike: Global Offensive player Michael John McLoed claiming that Valve has knowingly allowed and was complicit in creating, sustaining and facilitating a market” This it states is done by allowing Steam accounts to be linked to third-party Websites.

Normally CS: GO skins are allowed to be traded bought and sold within the ecosystem. This is allowed because this is simple purchasing and trading there is no gamble and the funds stay within the Steam ecosystem. In other words, you are theoretically simply trading skins that you purchased (Through a random generator in game) that you no longer want or need for a game that somebody else no longer wants or needs. Yes, you can receive Virtual Currency based on the value applied by Steam Analyst but again these are funds that cannot be withdrawn and are reapplied to new products. You are still only buying steam products and then swapping those products for new products.

As for the allowance of the actions and knowledge of the market place. The ability to link to third party service is for the sharing of information which is a mass demand among gamers. It will not change and they are not liable for what may happen as consequences of users giving out their account information.  There is no flashing sign that says “hey, we are running a gambling ring and not the user of this account.” The user relinquishes his account login information and allows the third-party to access it to make these trades within the ecosystem for them. 

Therefore, the Lawsuit against Valve will likely be dead in the water as any wrong doing is not on their part. They are in no way affiliated with CSGOLotto or any other third party site manipulating the system. At most due to the third-party sites that allow cash-outs their terms of use to better protect themselves and deem any future occurrences of this sort of system manipulation like this to be illegal actions

As for Martin and Cassell, CSGO also does not allow the currency to be cashed out and it is clearly stated in the terms of use. It simply provides a “Service” of doing your trades for you. Gambling is not gambling without currency buy-ins and cash-outs. The cash-out systems are provided by other third party sites who will likely by the end of this be the ones who will receive the legal action if any. Martin, Cassell and their website are again clear of any wrong doing regarding gambling.

The third party sites allowing the cash-outs could walk as well due to the fact that the games ESRB rating is 17 plus. This means it’s a _children’s_ audience. While gambling regulations only apply to those applicable to the act of gambling itself; that being _adults_. However, the loophole is that a steam account could be created by anyone of any age and apply any birthday they choose. This allows the third party sites to claim that that at the same time could not prove that the participants were nor adult or children and could either or both. (Yes both. Shared accounts.) I am not saying this will work but it is a possibility

The bigger problem with Martin and Cassell is that they are being accused of not disclosing their stake. Allow me to elaborate. In their videos they would say “hey, check out this site I found”. They would say lines that made viewers conceive it as if they were just recommendations rather than advertisements. The problem is that you are legally inclined to make it very clear to your audience that “a payed” sponsor is such as. They did not.

Here is where they are again cleared of wrong doing. While Martin after the reveal of his stake in the company did state in a video that he never failed to reveal his ownership, only to be proved a liar prompting him to remove said video and relabel the descriptions in attempt to cover this up; the fact is this.

Again, the regulation states that you must state that any “payed” message is such. This however, is their company. They are not _paying themselves_ to broadcast these messages. It is not a _paid_ advertisement or sponsor. While it is still extremely shady (not theirs or their clicks first run in with shady actions within the gaming community) that they did not reveal their connection, (of which Martin stated within his response video that they never tried to hide their roles in the company.) they at the same time did not need to. What they did is wrong but _not_ illegal. 

They will likely not receive any repercussions besides possible ban, Suspension or infraction from YouTube for violating its user agreement. That’s also likely not going to happen and this isn’t the first time these band of misfits have switched platforms and titles to escape the shroud of dismay. Plus, people forget fast and just repeat history so I don’t think they’ll ache too much for us.

So there you have it. What does this “CS: GO Gambling Fiasco” mean? Absolutely nothing!




N.B. To my knowledge there have been no official legal proceedings. These are simply my predictions and opinions based off of facts of occurrences.






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