Skin Gambling Sites Take Varying Approaches In Wake Of Valve C&D Letter
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How The 23 Named Skin Gambling Sites Have Reacted To Valve’s Cease And Desist Letter

skin gambling sites status Valve letter

It’s been more than two days since Valve Corporation sent a cease and desist letter to 23 skin betting sites that gave them 10 days to stop using its API to facilitate commercial purposes.

Earlier this month, Valve specifically told sites to stop using its API to facilitate skins gambling.

Many of the sites are still functioning as normal, and have either announced they will stay open, or have not announced an intent to shut down.

Several others, including sites not even named among the 23, have announced they will shut down on a set date. Others still say they are updating their products to comply with Valve’s request.

Here’s the status of each of the sites as of Friday morning, in the order in which they were named in Valve’s C&D:

CSGOLounge

CSGOLounge, the world’s largest skin betting site, appeared to be functioning normally and has not indicated it will shut down.

The site took in 200,000 skins across two ELEAGUE quarterfinal matches on Thursday. The average handle on an ELEAGUE match thus far is around 57,000 skins, according to data compiled by ESBR, although most of the matches the comprise that average were lower stakes, group-stage matches.

While an average of 100,000 skins per match is by no means small, it’s also not equal to the volumes of most quarterfinal matches across CS:GO majors. The quarterfinal round of ESL One Cologne, for example, averaged nearly 189,000 skins per match.

CSGOStrong

CSGOStrong is functioning normally and said it will not shut down. Its home page roulette wheel spun along as per usual, with a banner note above it reading: “We are not closing. New features are coming! Go Strong!”

CSGODouble

CSGODouble on July 14 was among the first sites to declare its intent to shut down, a full five days before Valve issued the C&D. But the site is still live, with roulette being offered and the deposit tab still accessible.

An announcement on the site, however, said that it is no longer accepting deposits. That announcement goes on, “Those with existing balances are encouraged to withdraw at their earliest convenience. Please keep in mind that our bots will be under heavy load—please remain patient while we deal with cashing everyone out.”

CSGO500

CSGO500 appeared to be functioning normally and has not indicated it will shut down. It allows users from anywhere to still access its site, but forces them to agree to agreement that says they are not from the U.S., Canada or the U.K. and that they are over 18.

Both verifications, though, are on the honors system.

CSGOCosmos

CSGOCosmos appeared to be functioning normally and has not indicated it will shut down.

CSGOCasino

CSGOCasino has decided to shut down on July 24, according to an announcement on its website. Users have until then to withdraw their balance. It is still offering roulette and other games in the interim period.

CSGO2X

CSGO2X has decided to shut down on July 28, according to an announcement.

The site claims Steam shut down its Steam Group, but did not do so for other skin gambling sites. It is encouraging its users to withdraw their balances, and said, “we will try to make sure to stock up the bots so everyone can get their credits out.”

CSGOHouse

CSGOHouse appeared to be functioning normally and has not indicated it will shut down.

CSGOatse

CSGOatse appeared to be functioning normally and has not indicated it will shut down.

It allows users from anywhere to still access its site, but forces them to agree to an agreement that says users are at least 18 years of age, and are “responsible for compliance with any local laws in regards to casino games (with or without real currency),” among other things.

All verifications, though, are on the honors system. The site currently offers roulette, blackjack, tibian dice and jackpot.

CSGODiamonds

CSGODiamonds said in a banner across the top of its site that all betting sites must shut down by July 30. The site closed for “maintenance” for a 24-hour period earlier this month, one day after Valve’s initial announcement.

Data obtained by ESBR illustrates lower-than-normal daily handles on the site over the month of July. In mid-June the website found itself embroiled in a scandal after it paid sponsored player m0E $91,000 (which he kept) to stream himself playing on the site.

The former professional CS:GO player admitted, however, that the site owners told him the outcomes of his rolls in advance, thereby helping ensure that he won more often than he lost.

SocietyLogin

SocietyLogin said it will shut down at some point soon and that all games and deposits are disabled. Users have until “the end of the week” to withdraw skins, and the site thanks them for being “apart (sic) of the site.”

Interestingly, Society’s terms and conditions, which users had to agree to in order to access the site, say in the same paragraph that users must be 18 years of age and that they must be 21 years of age. Another one of Society’s rules bans the use of trading skins between users without actually gambling them on a game.

Ironically, this trade-only model could represent one legal path forward for skin sites.

Dota2Lounge

Dota2Lounge, CSGOLounge’s sister site and aesthetic clone, appeared to be functioning normally and has not indicated it will shut down.

CSGOCrash

CSGOCrash is functioning normally and said in a note to users that it is not planning to shut down. It said it “will do whatever it takes to comply with Valve’s Terms of Service,” although it remains unclear how Crash can offer a gambling product and still do this.

The site said it was taking extra steps to maintain solvency.

CSGOLotto

CSGOLotto continued to apparently not run contests or accept wagers, and has not addressed Valve’s C&D, the recent lawsuit filed against its owners, or if it might come back online.

The site put up a pop-up announcement on July 8 saying that due to the high amount of expected trading activity surrounding ESL One Cologne that upcoming weekend, it would shut down all game modes on its site. Cologne, however, ended the afternoon of July 10. No gambling has happened on the site since.

That pop-up announcement is now gone, and instead a small line of red text under its deposit and create game buttons said that the site is under maintenance. Of the multiple skin betting scandals preceding Valve’s announcement, Lotto’s might have received the most attention.

CSGOBig

CSGOBig announced on July 19 that it will shut down temporarily to comply with Valve’s terms of service. The site told users it would “definitely be back soon.”

It was also partially responsible for the initial dissemination of Valve’s C&D to the public. It posted the letter as part of its larger closure announcement, and noted it was doing so so that everyone could be aware that other sites, not just theirs, were affected.

CSGOFast

CSGOFast appeared to be functioning normally and has not indicated it will shut down, although several attempts Thursday to log in to Steam via the site, or visit the on-site store, either took extended periods of time or resulted in gateway timeouts.

One of the largest skin gambling websites, the jackpot and roulette style games offered by the site had multiple days this past week where handles exceeded $1 million. One hundred coins on the site is equivalent to $1.

Of the several skin gambling sites whose bet traffic is tracked by ESBR, CSGOFast has experienced virtually no decline in activity since Valve’s C&D.

CSGOSweep

CSGOSweep appeared to be functioning normally and has not indicated it will shut down.

A video on its landing page showed a sponsored player, who goes by the handle Legitrsgiving, turning 50 cents worth of virtual currency into $75 through a series of wagers on the site. A message on its public-facing home page (before wagerers are prompted to log in via their Steam account) read, “you acknowledge that CSGOSweep.com is only a virtual currency trading platform and no more.”

CSGOMassive

CSGOMassive appeared to be functioning normally and has not indicated it will shut down. It is offering jackpot, roulette, minesweeper, and rock-paper-scissors games.

CSGOBattle

CSGOBattle said that it will shut down July 24, and urged users to check its Twitter for updates. So far, its Twitter account has no tweets explicitly addressing Valve’s C&D, the shut down, or the future of the site.

Ominously, following comments by multiple users asking how or why they can’t withdraw their funds, a mod named Gamma032 on the site’s chat feature posted the following message:

“PSA: This site is closing. down. I cannot help you with errors. Withdraw if you can. Best of luck.”

Skins2

Skins2 directed users to a login page which requires an email and password login. This is not the same as one’s Steam login, which almost every other skin gambling site prompts one to input in order to wager.

One must separately register for a Skins2 account using their email, SteamID and other information. Users must also acknowledge that they’re 21 or older. Its current functionality and future plans are unclear.

CSGOPot

CSGOPot appeared to be functioning normally and has not indicated it will shut down. It offers dice, jackpot and roulette games.

Furthermore, a brief message on its home page reads:

“!SOME TWEETS CLAIMS THAT, CSGOPOT HAS BEEN CONTACTED BY VALVE. THAT’S ALL FAKE, WE STILL DIDNT RECEIVE ANY E-MAIL FROM VALVE!”

So, that’s all settled.

CSGOWild

CSGOWild said it will shut down on July 23. The site has instructed users to withdraw all balances by then.

Multiple users have accused the site in the days since Valve’s announcement of not being able to withdraw their remaining balances, of balances inexplicably falling, and of prices of items jumping by as much as 300 percent.

The site had previously stopped accepting U.S. customers on June 29. It said it did so of its own accord, and was in no way pressured by Valve. It first announced its intent to shut down on July 14, and said it was “ready to purchase extra skins to make sure everyone gets withdrawn.”

It also teased a possible future offering another product, saying it was at work on a “secret project” and telling users to “stay tuned.”

Bets.gg

Bets.gg was operating with limited functionality and said it will not shut down. It is in the process of updating its backend to comply with Valve’s terms of service “update,” it said.

It’s unclear what update this refers to, or how a skin gambling site can still offer its nominal product (or any other commercial product) while complying with Valve’s C&D.

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Will Green
- An analyst at the intersection of gambling, entertainment, and esports, Will worked as a writer and producer at Sports Illustrated, where he covered the sports gambling and daily fantasy sports industries. His work is currently featured at SI, as well as Fortune.com, Legal Sports Report, ESBR, and many other publications.