A high amount of controversy kicked off back in June that surrounded CS:GO Lounge due to the sketchy services being offered by the company, but that seemed to come to a crashing halt when Valve released an official notice that prevented these sites from operating using Valve’s Steam service. This letter ceased operation for over 20 gambling sites that were based around CS:GO skins, and CS:GO Lounge was definitely one of the biggest venues to go down. Valve has threatened to remove any accounts that are in violation of their new terms, but this doesn’t seem to have put an end to the site.
It was expected that all of these sites would be permanently removed, but that isn’t the case for some of the more stubborn operators. CSGOBig, another major skin gambling website, has announced that the shutdown is only temporary and they plan on returning. CSGO Lounge is taking their own unique approach and is becoming a legitimate gambling website by working to get the proper licensing to operate, although this is in direct contradiction that the site was ever a gambling website to begin with – or at least that’s what the owners claimed.
“From the very beginning, the lounge service was intended as an entertainment service for the esports community of Dota2 and CS:GO, and we have never considered it as a real money betting. Virtual items in CS:GO and Dota2 have no monetary value and any community interaction with the virtual items is meant only for entertainment, without any profit interest,” was an official statement released by the owners of the website. “We did not collect any commission or similar until June 2016, where we started doing it in order to improve our items drafting and quality of winnings, compensate items losses due to issues related to our product or issues with Steam community trading, to enable giveaways for the community and add more features to our service in near future.”
Gambling laws will vary from country to country as each region has their own thoughts and regulations on how to approach the issue. Lounge is now attempting to create a system that will follow these rules by creating a system that complies with a majority of these countries. Countries that don’t quite fit will be blocked from using the services offered by the site. However, the simple fact that the website is now trying to become a legitimate gambling website is basically an admittance of wrong doing, as they are openly admitting that they were a gambling website from the start and now want to be legally protected.
It is unsure how the website will continue to offer betting services now that Valve has shut down their ability to bet with skins. It is speculated and insinuated by the owners that they will be focusing on Esports betting now rather than skin betting, which will be a huge adjustment for the service. In order to stay in operation, the site will have to separate itself from Steam.