Valve Facing Criminal Charges For Counter-Strike Gambling, Denies Role

The stance Valve is taking on illegal skin betting surrounding their game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teeters on a very thin line. Now facing criminal charges from the Washington State Gambling Commission, the game maker denies having any role in the illicit secondary market.

Cite Me
“If there is a specific criminal statute or regulation you believe Valve is violating, please provide a citation,” posed Valve to the Commission. The bold request was part of the lengthy letter Valve penned  to the commission. Turned in after the commission's initial deadline of October 14, the letter details Valve's defense.

Not Inherently Illegal
Valve argues that the services they offer through Steam which were exploited by skin gambling sites were not inherently illegal, and that they had no control over the illegal misuse of those services. “We do not want to turn off the steam services,” said Valve, referring to Steam Trading and OpenID – services which appear to aid illegal gambling.

Not The Commission's Authority
Valve went on to state that they do not believe it is “within the Commission's authority to turn off lawful commercial and communication services that are not directed to gambling in Washington.”

In Their Defense
It is possible that Valve could be found guilty of failing to act swiftly and decisively once they became aware that third-party companies were abusing their game features. They defend what could be viewed as inaction by pointing out the action they have since taken against more than 40 skin betting sites.

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