News: Valve pulls the pin on third-party gambling sites

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Updated: July 19, 2016

TOWesportsintegrity

Games developer Valve, the company that owns and operates the Steam distribution portal and titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), has banned gambling sites from offering their products through its platform.

The company has acted after it became the subject of legal proceedings, including a class action lawsuit, due to it allowing so-called skins gambling (which had been expected to generate USD $7.4 billion (€6.7 billion) in bets this year) through its OpenID API (application protocol interface).

A lawsuit filed last month on behalf of Connecticut resident Michael John McLeod alleged that Valve and third-party sites CS:GO Diamonds, CS:GO 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”.

Through those websites, the suit says, skins for CS:GO, which can be purchased from Valve, “can easily be traded and used as collateral for bets”. Valve said it will enforce the rules of its terms of service and request that all gambling sites immediately cease offering their services through OpenID.

“We’d like to clarify that we have no business relationships with any of these sites,” Erik Johnson, a company spokesman, said via a statement. “We are going to start sending notices to these sites requesting they cease operations through Steam.”

 

• The E-Sports Integrity Coalition (ESIC), a new organisation that wants to combat all forms of cheating in e-sports, has officially launched. The body is open to all professional e-sports stakeholders, with policy and projects to be determined by members.

Upon its launch this week, ESIC revealed a programme for acceptance and implementation by professional e-sports stakeholders, consisting of a Participant Code of Conduct, Anti-Corruption Code, Anti-Doping Policy and an independent Disciplinary Procedure.

The organisation has signed up the likes of Sportradar, Betway, Unikrn, Intel and Dreamhack as founding partners. In a statement, ESIC said it will focus on finalising membership agreements with stakeholders, as well as the implementation of its programme for members.

The organisation also said that it intends to roll out participant anti-corruption education, as well as monitor and investigate suspicious betting in e-sports markets through the use of Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System.

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