MORE DETAIL ON VALVES E-SPORTS "CEASE AND DESIST WARNING (Update)
Strong language and the promise of retribution from eSports company intent on eliminating skins gambling.
The full details of Valves cease and desist warning to operators using its Steam subsidiary site to promote and carry on skins gambling has now become available, and suggests that the crackdown applies to all gambling activity, including the popular skin betting site CSGO Lounge.
The distribution list on the warning letter from Valves general counsel shows that the communication went to 23 different operators alleged to be carrying on some sort of skin-betting activity.
The letter has already resulted in some sites backing away from betting, and does not mince its words in declaring:
"Re: Violations of Steam Subscriber Agreement
"We are aware that you are operating one of the gambling sites listed below. You are using Steam accounts to conduct this business. Your use of Steam is subject to the terms of the Steam Subscriber Agreement (“SSA”), http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/. Under the SSA Steam and Steam services are licensed for personal, non-commercial use only. Your commercial use of Steam accounts is unlicensed and in violation of the SSA. You should immediately cease and desist further use of your Steam accounts for any commercial purpose. If you fail to do this within ten (10) days Valve will pursue all available remedies including without limitation terminating your accounts.
General Counsel, Valve Corp."
Observers have noted that the warning centres on the phrase "commercial use" regarding the Steam subscriber agreement, which has a number of restrictions regarding the business use of Steam accounts
Putting the brakes on eSports skins betting could have a marked impact on overall wagering on the vertical; according to some sources, skin-betting generates wagering revenues around six times greater than those made as cash bets.
In related news, the live streaming company Twitch has announced that it has shuttered the channel belonging to eSports star James Phantom0rd Vargas following allegations earlier this week that he had failed to disclose his ownership involvement in the betting site CSGO Shuffle.
With a following of around 2 million eSports fans Vargas is an influential eSports Youtube promoter and Twitch streamer.
InfoPowa readers will recall that eSports reporter Richard Lewis recently published damning documentary evidence he had received from a hacker, illustrating Vargas involvement and failure to disclose, and indicating that questionable arrangements had rigged the odds in his favour.