CSGO Lounge & skins: $1bn on 2,800 matches in 7 months

A new report by Narus Advisors, and researched and written by Will Green of Legal Sports Report and Esports Betting Report, states that in 2016 prior to shutting down CSGO Lounge took in a total of $1 billion (£784.3m) worth of skins on 2,300 professional CS:GO matches. 

Will Green, Legal Sports Report & Esports Betting Report
Will Green, Legal Sports Report & Esports Betting Report

Seven months of betting saw 103 million skins in bets with ESL One Cologne attracting the most of any tournament with 177,969 skins per match on average or $1,735,193 (£1.33m) betting handle per match. 

The match between Team Liquid and SK Gaming alone saw 321,000 skins wagered on it. Along with ESL One Cologne, ELEAGUE, Intel Katowice and the MLG tournament in Columbus, these four tournaments accounted for 18% of the total items wagered. 

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The report, which can be accessed in full here, also analyses more individual matches in addition to the details of Valve’s crackdown on skins betting, the scandals and a timeline of events. 

When reading the report it’s important to be aware of the terminology Green attributes to the various forms of skins gambling; he uses the term skin betting to mean sportsbook-style wagering on the outcomes of esports events, skin gambling to mean wagering on the outcome of casino-style games like roulette or blackjack, and skin wagering to refer to both forms together.

In a comprehensive report Green also included a case study of CSGOFast, an assessment of where skins betting may go from here and Lounge’s new product alongside extensive data.

The case of CSGOFast is a particularly poignant one as it is an operator which fought hard against Valve’s cease and desist, whilst the report includes a number of questions many would like to put to Lounge about its new coin betting product. 

Esports Insider says: An excellent and detailed report by Will Green and Narus Advisors which has enough background information and yet enough detail to educate the layman on skins and keep those in the know reading. The great takeaway of $1bn wagered in seven months is staggering, whilst the notes on the potential of skins betting to embrace regulation and survive Valve’s crackdown makes for a worthwhile proper read.