Lawyer: Valve’s Silence While Helping Gambling Sites ‘Unconscionable’

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. HardOCP News

    HardOCP News [H] News

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    The fall out over the CSGOLotto scandal has once again shined the spotlight on Valve and the CS:GO gambling economy. The fact that Valve hasn't made a statement on the matter is rather alarming to say the least. Speaking of alarming, this bar analogy isn't very flattering either:

    "Valve is like a bar owner who lets people set up roulette wheels and blackjack tables in the back, sells chips to teenagers on their way in the door, and then makes people cash out at the pawn shop across the street," he said. "Oh, and it has created a new game it owns and on which those kids can gamble, then lets the bookies take bets on it in the corner booth. The fact that it's Valve's server and software instead of a bar, and Steam's API instead of a physical roulette wheel and international websites like OPSkins instead of a pawn shop and Lounge instead of a bookie in the corner booth doesn't change what Valve is doing: it has created a gambling ecosystem out of thin air, and its customers are getting scammed and losing money on rigged websites as a result."
     
  2. Axehandler

    Axehandler Gawd

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    Valve is like a bar owner who lets people set up roulette wheels and blackjack tables in the back

    ------------

    I think Valve was more like the NFL. They know people bet on things, and even know people setup websites.. they just didn't tell them to stop.

     
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  3. Shmee

    Shmee [H]ard|Gawd

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    Valve never says anything about anything, but in this case they really should say something. Even if it is just along the lines that, "These gambling sites are in no way affiliated with Valve, and we do not condone underage gambling."
     
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  4. Bigshrimp

    Bigshrimp Limp Gawd

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    Valve is notorious for lack of communication. If they ever do comment, it will be after the issue has boiled over....
     
  5. crusty_juggler

    crusty_juggler [H]ard|Gawd

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    If I has said nine years ago that Valve in 2016 will have abandoned not only Half Life, but all game development and will have morphed into an anti-consumer storefront that targets teens and children with F2P games and cash shops, all while using it's monopolistic cash flow to fund Gabe Newell's Linux gaming delusions and virtual reality obsession, I would have been laughed of the Internet.
    They're making tens of millions of dollars off these sites. Why would they tell them to stop?
    Valve's lack of communication s is flat-out insulting at this point.
     
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  6. twonunpackmule

    twonunpackmule [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't see how this has anything to do with Valve. Like someone said, it's like the NFL.
     
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  7. crusty_juggler

    crusty_juggler [H]ard|Gawd

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    These sites deal in a currency that originates from only one source; Valve. Currency acquired via a platform that allows users as young as 13 to register.

    Imagine if instead of cash being used to gamble on the NFL, the only accepted currency was NFL Bux. And the only place you could purchase NFL Bux was NFL.com, which allowed children to register. And all the gambling sites operated on NFL.com's API.

    Valve could put an end to the gambling problem tomorrow, but they won't. Because CS:GO gambling enables Valve to do what Valve loves, sit on it's ass and collect millions for doing nothing.
     
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  8. ryno9100

    ryno9100 Limp Gawd

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    What?
     
  9. twonunpackmule

    twonunpackmule [H]ard|Gawd

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    *yawn*

    Again, I fail to see the big deal. It's a matter of "Doesn't affect me, bro."
     
  10. DrLobotomy

    DrLobotomy [H]ardness Supreme

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    Bleeding idiots is an American right and overrules other laws. 1st law of capitalism.
     
  11. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    Strange to see you post in this thread then surely?
     
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  12. gxp500

    gxp500 Gawd

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    HL3 confirmed!
     
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  13. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    Valve are like Porkie's!!!
     
  14. DooKey

    DooKey [H]ard DCOTM x4

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    Valve is about the money. Simple as that. Gaming doesn't matter anymore as far as they are concerned unless they can make money off selling gaming (not their own product). Can't fault them for being what they are now. Show me the money!!
     
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  15. DrLobotomy

    DrLobotomy [H]ardness Supreme

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    This would also explain CS:GO's listing as always in the top 10 steam best sellers. I wondered how it could keep selling like that.
     
  16. MrTryfe

    MrTryfe Limp Gawd

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    Wait...what?
     
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  17. Drewis

    Drewis Limp Gawd

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    move along

    just like multiple posters have said, just like the NFL.

    anyone can bet on anything at any time. big deal.
     
  18. 5150Joker

    5150Joker 2[H]4U

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    It's all about the skins because the game itself is garbage.
     
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  19. Azphira

    Azphira [H]ard|Gawd

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    Skins, trading cards and achievements, just like Valve, for a lot of the users it's not about the games themselves anymore.
     
  20. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    I smell a big ol' class action scam coming up!
     
  21. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I halfway expect them to pull the HL3 card as a hail mary to deflect attention.

    Valve Press Conference, everyone expects them to address the gambling, and they announce Half Life 3 instead. The internet may explode.
     
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  22. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

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    They are dealing with weapon skins. The fact players have assigned monetary value to these isn't Valve's fault. People shouldn't be "gambling" shit they can't afford to lose, and this includes ridiculous shit like knife skins in a video game.
     
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  23. Sonicks

    Sonicks [H]ard|Gawd

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    I just saw the video posted earlier to see what this fuss is about...

    what. the. shit.

    They aren't even gambling like I thought they were. Here I thought people were betting on teams and people playing but it's just some shitty skin slot machine thing that almost has zero to do with Counter Strike at all.

    How is anyone making money off this anyway? Say I get a skin from a container, normally through the game, that would have cost $4k if I picked straight away. Who repurchases these things at the 'normal' price? I can't imagine there is anyone that would pay for the 'good' items from someone when they can get them directly from the game without the fuss.
     
  24. chenw

    chenw 2[H]4U

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    The skins all have different drop rates, that's what makes the skins valuable over others.

    No one would purchase any skins for thousands if they can simply pick them up for a couple of bucks.

    Also, some skins don't drop anymore, further contributing to their value.
     
  25. crusty_juggler

    crusty_juggler [H]ard|Gawd

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    The skins only point of origination is from Valve's platform. One must pay money to Valve in order to acquire the skins, and the main method of acquisition is a completely randomized process that mimics a slot machine. The secondary way of acquiring skins is by directly purchasing them from a storefront that Valve controls, regulates and takes a percentage from. Valve literally has economists on the payroll whose jobs are to analyze the skin market and suggest ways to enhance profits and control inflation.

    The values behind these skins aren't created out of thin air. It's a highly regulated process that Valve controls and profits immensely from.

    How is Valve hands-off when it comes to the value of the skins when they, and they alone, create them and control the amount of skins that enter the market?
    No, not at all.

    You can gamble on NFL games in a wide variety of currencies, currencies that you can aqcuire from any number of sources. The NFL does not create, control the flow, or limit the type of currency that gamblers use to gamble with. These gambling sites work on Valve currency, acquired exclusively from Valve's storefront and sold exclusively by Valve. The comparison to the NFL would be valid if bookies and casinos only accepted NFL Credits, credits that you could only buy from the NFL.
     
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  26. djoye

    djoye 2[H]4U

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    Until I can actually buy tickets from Ticketmaster.com at the price advertised on Ticketmaster.com, Valve can do whatever they want to do.
     
  27. Axehandler

    Axehandler Gawd

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    So according to you.. since the NFL creates Jerseys, and William Perry no longer plays AND his #72 Jersey is no longer made. If someone Gambled that jersey for say 1000$... it is the NFL's fault since they are the one's who created said jersey, The gambler used the Jersey and it was Gambled away even thou it was acquired from a NFL sponsored Storefront and sold Exclusively by the NFL.........

    The secondary way of acquiring JERSEYS is by directly purchasing them from a storefront that the NFL controls, regulates and takes a percentage from. THE NFL literally has economists on the payroll whose jobs are to analyze the market and suggest ways to enhance profits and control inflation.

    humm.. Not seeing how your comparison does NOT match the NFL......
     
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  28. jon666

    jon666 Limp Gawd

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    I blame Team Fortress 2.
     
  29. Stiler

    Stiler [H]ardForum Junkie

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    When you buy something from the NFL you buy it, you don't pay money for a RNG/slot-machine type of thing and randomly get something that has a random value you don't know, then which you go and take and can sell it to other people while the NFL then takes a % off the top of each sale on the market.

    Also I don't know of any "NFL Jersey" trading sites that allow you to put a jersey in a pot and then play a slot-machine random chance to "win" the pot and collect all the winnings....

    If you can't see how this is gambling I don't know what to tell you.
     
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  30. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    Wait, why isn't anyone in an uproar over things like Diablo 3? WoW? Everquest? A buttload of other games that have digital items that others can sell to each other? Other games that have different drop rates for items and some of these items don't even drop anymore.

    Sounds like a non-issue to me.
     
  31. jon666

    jon666 Limp Gawd

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    I think the issue is kids are gambling.
     
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  32. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    Kids were gambling long before everyone started playing online games. Who remembers pogs?
     
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  33. Peter2k

    Peter2k Limp Gawd

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    Not to nag
    But aren't parents interested what they're own kids do these days any more

    Fine I habe a daughter; bit unlikely she picks up CS
    Still it's not exactly hard keeping track of what she does with her free time

    Also where do those 13 year old kids get they're money from?
    Being a paperboy must pay a lot these days
    /s


    Ahh
    I remember that Southpark episode where patents weren't even interested that they're kids played with actual ninja weapons, and nearly put out Butters eye
    Only that Cartman was naked
     
  34. v6maro

    v6maro [H]ard|Gawd

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    for those of you needing education on what all this is, here it is briefly explained:

    you play csgo
    sometimes you get a weapon drop or a 'case' drop after the game is done (in-game)
    a case can be opened with a key for $2.49 (in-game menu via valve)
    a case can contain any variety of in-game weapon skins - when you open one with a key it randomly gives you a skin, some can be SUPER rare (this is not the gambling part)
    skins have grades - new, minimum wear, ect down the line to shitty quality
    skins have a grading within their grading (new), called floats (how new, new is it?) - a new, low float skin is typically worth a lot if it's a desirable skin - like a dragon lore
    steam has a market where users can buy and sell skins (legally, in-game and on the web)
    steam market has a cap of $400USD (high volume traders must file with FTC)
    very rare skins can be worth thousands - hell some knives have sold for over $20,000.
    how does one sell a skin for more than $400 you ask? black market sites
    steam provides a steam login api that any site can hook into so they can load your inventory (this is where you hold your skins)
    you can then do various things with your skins on these sites, like, trade, sell, or GAMBLE (illegal btw), all without uncle sam getting a cut (ut-oh!)

    On to the gambling part and how to cash out...
    let's say you win a large pot gambling (unless you get fucked by one of the site owners), and it has a rare knife worth $2,000 - how does one convert that knife into cold, hard, cash? One must sell it on a site like opskins.com -or- trade it for KEYS (valve allows users to buy keys for $2.49 through the market). Once a user has keys, they can sell those keys on the black market for about $1.80 a key (or the going rate). So a user with a $2k knife will try to trade it for 1,111 keys. Or a combination of keys and other rare skins.

    Hopefully that helps someone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
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  35. NickJames

    NickJames [H]ardness Supreme

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    It won't be long before the IRS makes a move then Valve will go into damage control.
     
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  36. Sonicks

    Sonicks [H]ard|Gawd

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    So if I'm understanding this correctly..

    If I play this slot thing and get a hit on something that Valve has valued at $500, someone will likely buy it off me for whatever price they would want to pay, like $10?

    If I don't get this and kids are making some serious bank then I guess there really is a problem, lol.
     
  37. Sonicks

    Sonicks [H]ard|Gawd

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    This helped me understand it a lot better. I seriously can't believe that there is even a demand to cash these things out anyway. I play CS:GO very very casually and I couldn't care less how my dude looks so it boggles my mind that anyone can make any kind of money 'gambling' and cashing out this way.

    At least in Black Ops 3 these container drops are actually new weapons sometimes and aren't just cosmetic changes (though most are).
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  38. ryno9100

    ryno9100 Limp Gawd

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    I did something similiar in TF2 back before it was F2P. Buy low, sell high. The buying and selling on the steam marketplace isn't the gambling part, its when you take it to third party websites using Steam API to load profiles and inventories where it begins to become a problem. A problem that Valve doesn't really have a lot of control over. They don't micromanage what crate will open into what skin. They don't micromanage and set specific prices on various skins. Most of that is done by player preference and rarity, just like the real world marketplace.

    Personally, I don't think Valve is responsible. I don't think they have to say anything. It'd be nice if they did, but ultimately, they don't really have to.

    The problem is that third party gambling sites are not only allowing underage gambling of potentially high value items, but that some of these site's owners are scammers that rig the system to no end. There are 2 YouTubers in specific (ProSyndicate and someone else) that "found" a website they gamble on and make tons of money on YouTube by gambling on these sites. Come to find out, these 2 created and run the site, and can very easily rig their YouTube videos' gambles to get more views on YouTube, more traffic on their site, and ultimately, more money from both. That's where this controversy really started. How people are blaming Valve for that is kinda beyond me. I get that they made CS:GO, that they made, and still make, the crates that these skins come from, and that they can manipulate the GENERAL outcome of crates by setting rarities and different weights to different drops, but they are not directly enabling anyone to Gamble. If I'm not mistaken, they aren't making money off these 3rd party gambling websites. They only make money when an item sells on their Steam Market, which, as someone states, has a cap of $400 USD.
     
  39. raz-0

    raz-0 [H]ardness Supreme

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    So like GM is responsible if you go racing for pinks?

    Howabout the drag strip or the town?

    They created something you can buy and sell, the gambling is the players.
     
  40. Monkey God

    Monkey God Mangina Full of Sand

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    I bet 11ty billion dollars Valves lawyers are telling them to keep their mouths shut.
     
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