CSGO Lounge Halts Online Gambling for Skins
The announcement of the skins betting was posted yesterday on the site’s Facebook page in a post reading:
Today we are announcing that we are closing our virtual items betting functionality with immediate effect. Depositing virtual skins and items in order to place a bet is not possible anymore. At the moment we are working on a solution for items withdrawal, please stay tuned for an update on this topic.
Skins betting, which involves players wagering virtual items such as decorations for guns, is a controversial practice that’s been criticized as legalized sports betting for children. As of this writing, skins betting is an unregulated industry that does, in fact, allow players of pretty much any age to wager items that can be quite valuable on the outcome of professional video game tournaments.
Besides the whole, underage-gambling-thing, there have been plenty of questions about the level of transparency at the sites that promote skins betting. This issue blew up last spring when it was revealed that a popular skins betting site called CS:GO Lotto was owned by the hosts of a popular esports YouTube channel.
CSGO Lounge had resisted the growing clamor to crack down on skins betting for weeks, but gave in to pressure from Valve, the company whose API allows skins sites to operate in the first place. The company will also be cracking down on other forms of unregulated esports betting on its digital properties.