A "Counter-Strike" player has accused Valve Corporation, the game developer and distributor, of promoting "illegal online gambling," and has filed a lawsuit against the company.
The lawsuit said Valve and third-party sites (CSGO Diamonds, CSGO Lounge and OPSkins) "knowingly allowed, supported, and/or sponsored illegal gambling by allowing millions of Americans to link their individual Steam accounts to third- party websites," Polygon reported.
The lawsuit further claimed that players could buy skins for "Counter-strike: Global Offensive," which are purchased through Valve and traded as "collateral for bets."
Skins are used as casino chips, which are cashed in for money. The lawsuit alleges that Valve makes profits from such gambling transactions. The suit was filed on behalf of Michael John McLeod, a resident of Connecticut.
Further, the suit goes on to say that since there is no requirement to verify age in some of the third-party "CS:GO" websites, gambling is exposed to minors too. McLeod has attached a report from Bloomberg that revealed how teenagers were turning to "serious gamblers," thanks to the in-game item, "skins." It also noted that this was part of the over $2-billion business.
"People buy skins for cash, then use the skins to place online bets on pro 'CS:GO' matches," said the Bloomberg report.
McLeod notes that he not only gambled after purchasing the skins as an adult but also as a minor and lost money. A class action status is being sought for the suit and is seeking "unspecified damages."
"CS:GO" was released in August 2012 for PC platforms. In 2013, Valve released a new "Arms Deal Update," which bought 100 decorative skins that players could collect, sell, buy and trade. According to the Valve, this update allowed players to "experience all the illicit thrills of black market weapons trafficking without any of the hanging around in darkened warehouses getting knifed to death."
"CS:GO" has over 10 million unique players, according to a previous Valve report and has sold over 20 million units.