Massive E-Sports Online Gambling with 'Skins'

Published Saturday, April 23, 2016 -
Massive E-Sports Online Gambling with 'Skins'

It is alright for an adult to gamble online if done responsibly but a young person is not necessarily experienced enough to know the consequences of their actions. Therefore society has rules in place to safe guard the youth of today against the perils of the online gambling world which are very real despite the virtual nature of the web. The money spent is real money even though it is not cash in a brick and mortar casino. It was recently suggested in various media outlets that where the youthful demographic is most vulnerable is while playing and gambling on e-sports tournaments.

E-sports, is competitive video gaming, an entertainment for many which is anticipated to be worth $1.9 billion by 2018, according to various predictions. That is one huge market and the amount of disposable income among youth is going to fuel that market beyond that.  A regulated and licensed market exists with licensed operators being concerned the unregulated competition is not playing by the rules and is attracting underage participation.

A Bloomberg article recently revealed an unregulated and gambling market that has evolved around the trading of “skins” in the virtual war game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The Steam online games distribution platform owned by the Valve Corporation provides the game worldwide and as many as 380,000 people are playing the game at any given time around the globe. The greatest amount of bets are placed, on teams competing in professional video gaming, or e-sports, with collectable “designer” weapons, known as skins which can be purchased in-game and traded for real money also becoming a part of the wagering scene. It’s was estimated that over 3 million players wagered $2.3 billion worth of skins on the outcome of e-sports matches in the year 2015.

The skin gambling sites incorporate software built by Valve, and Valve collects 15 percent of every skin that’s bought or sold, it has been suggested that the company should be held legally accountable for underage losses.




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