Washington State Gambling Commission orders Valve to stop all skins transfers related to gambling

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Chris Stearns, WSGC

In the most major incident regarding skins since Valve sent out the primary cease and desist letters, the Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) has now had its say and ordered the developer to stop all skins transfers that are related to gambling. 

Esports Betting Report’s Will Green broke the story and publicised the press release which stated that Valve must “immediately stop allowing the transfer of virtual weapons known as ‘skins’ for gambling activities through the company’s Steam Platform”. 

The press release also stated that the WSGC had first contacted Valve back in February to begin correspondence about the trading of its virtual items by third parties.

Washington State Gambling Commissioner Chris Stearns commented: “In Washington, and everywhere else in the United States, skins betting on esports remains a large, unregulated black market for gambling. And that carries great risk for the players who remain wholly unprotected in an unregulated environment. We are also required to pay attention to and investigate the risk of underage gambling which is especially heightened in the esports.

“It is our sincere hope that Valve will not only comply but also take proactive steps to work with the Commission on future measures that will benefit the public and protect consumers.”

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It’s clear that the WSGC holds Valve highly accountable for the skins scandals and wagering. The release reads: “Since February 2016, “skins” continue to be used as consideration for illegal gambling activities on third party websites. “Skins” transactions are usually facilitated within Valve Corporation’s Steam Platform. All third party gambling sites have Steam accounts and use the Steam platform to conduct their gambling transactions”. 

Valve does not have long to consider its response to this order either, with the date of October 14th noted for the company to “respond and explain how it is in full compliance with Washington’s gambling laws or it will risk having the Gambling Commission take additional civil or criminal action against the company”.

Esports Insider says: The WSGC appears determined to stamp out skins betting in its entirety with a harsh and firm stance on the matter. With CS:GO developer Valve potentially facing criminal action including property seizure, forfeiture of company charter and criminal charges and October 14th as the response deadline, the next ten days will be a madhouse at the company’s HQ.