Valve demands that gambling sites cease operations through Steam

"We have no business relationships with any of these sites. We have never received any revenue from them," says Valve's Erik Johnson

After taking some heat and ultimately being served with a lawsuit for allegedly being "complicit in creating, sustaining and facilitating [a] market where players and third-parties trade weapon skins like casino chips," Valve has today issued a statement outright denying any involvement in gambling websites like CS:GO Lotto.

"In 2011, we added a feature to Steam that enabled users to trade in-game items as a way to make it easier for people to get the items they wanted in games featuring in-game economies," says Valve's Erik Johnson. "Since then a number of gambling sites started leveraging the Steam trading system, and there's been some false assumptions about our involvement with these sites. We'd like to clarify that we have no business relationships with any of these sites. We have never received any revenue from them. And Steam does not have a system for turning in-game items into real world currency."

Not only has Valve finally distanced itself from the shady actions of gambling sites, but the platform holder has also made it clear that they are violating the terms of service on Steam. As such, Valve is requesting that they cease their operations through Steam.

Johnson's statement continues, "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.

"Using the OpenID API and making the same web calls as Steam users to run a gambling business is not allowed by our API nor our user agreements. We are going to start sending notices to these sites requesting they cease operations through Steam, and further pursue the matter as necessary. Users should probably consider this information as they manage their in-game item inventory and trade activity."

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Latest comments (3)

Daniel Trezub QA Analyst, Ludia5 years ago
The extra mile would be Valve putting warnings on Steam or even inside the game. I am pretty sure a LOT of players doesn't know that may be illegal in their state or country.
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Brian Lewis Operations Manager, PlayNext5 years ago
Valve is doing this to provide themselves some clear legal separation from the issue. At this time there is no real movement towards taking steps for some sort of public interest. In fact, Valve is very intentionally avoiding the whole discussion of whether any of this is gambling, as that discussion would not reflect favorably on their own sales.
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Andreia Quinta Photographer 5 years ago
Yes, I'm sure all of these websites will imediately cease operations through Steam just because you send them letters saying so...

If Gabe wants to show they actually care about their community they would launch their own lawsuit as well against these scammers, on behalf of their own community, as 'the community' is not a single individual or institution, or even has the funds to spend on a lawsuit against websites that, wether intended or not, Valve does facilitate gambling with.

Valve should stop trying to distance themselves from it all as if it's nothing to do with them and join the lawsuit bandwagon. I mean, for pete's sake, one of these imbeciles is a second offender for the same type of opportunism. They need to be hit hard so they won't repeat this in 5 or 10 years time when a new 'opportunity' shows itself.

Gabe, dude, listen. Action speaks louder than words, or... notices.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Andreia Quinta on 14th July 2016 8:02pm

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