The recent gambling controversy surrounding Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has caused Valve to go on the… offensive.
The name behind the popular digital distribution platform Steam has published an update pertaining to in-game trading, stating that the introduction of the feature back in 2011 was simply to make it easier for players to get the items they wanted from supported games. However, recent years have seen to the inception of a number of gambling websites that have utilized Steam’s trading feature for their own illegal benefits.
The post further clarified that Valve has never partnered with any such gambling websites and nor does it intend to in the future. The company’s Erik Johnson also pointed out that recent rumors about Valve’s involvement are baseless since it has never received any revenue from such websites or platforms.
Mentioning that Steam currently has no system in place that turns in-game items into real-world currency, Johnson explained just how these gambling websites work:
These sites have basically pieced together their operations in two-part fashion. First, they are using the OpenID API as a way for users to prove ownership of their Steam accounts and items. Any other information they obtain about a user’s Steam account is either manually disclosed by the user or obtained from the user’s Steam Community profile (when the user has chosen to make their profile public). Second, they create automated Steam accounts that make the same web calls as individual Steam users.
Utilizing Steam’s OpenID API in such a manner (running gambling businesses) is a breach of the user agreement. Valve is going to begin sending out takedown notices to all such websites, forcing them to cease their illegal operations through Steam. In case they do not comply, Valve is ready to “pursue the matter as necessary”.
Last week, a very popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gambling website called CS:GO Lotto was revealed to be run by two YouTube celebrities. Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Tom “Syndicate” Cassell had for long been promoting the website but never revealed that they were actually the owners. All gambling events streamed were staged to pull in unsuspecting users. Both have since then accepted the claim and offered brief apologies to the masses in an attempt to calm the controversy.
This isn’t the first time that Valve has looked at the gambling business in disdain. Earlier this year, it began warning users against phishing, scamming, spamming and malware attempts by flagging all URLs related to gambling websites.