Despite orders from both Valve and the Washington State Gambling Commission, 19 popular websites remain in operation using Valve’s IP
Following all the drama surrounding skin gambling, Valve released a cease and desist order to everyone that was using their trading service to operate illegal gambling operations. Valve has been under fire by the Washington Gambling Commission and has been facing a potential lawsuit for allowing these websites to use their service for gambling purposes.
Valve’s order made it clear – quit using their service or your site is going to be shut down and the accounts being used for trading are going to be banned. Many of the websites took the hint and backed down, with only 8 services being in operation at the mid part of August. However, just a couple months later there are now 19 services in operation and Valve seems to be struggling with keeping the problem under control.
This is likely the reason the Washington Gambling Commission has pushed for Valve to shut down their trading service, citing that it was being used for illegal operations. Valve has fought back and claimed that they cannot be held responsible for the actions that players do with the service and the goal behind the trading service is not for gambling purposes. This would likely cost Valve a lot of money and customers since the trading service is such a large component of their platform.
Some websites decided to pivot and become other types of organizations, such as legalized gambling platforms that don’t use skins any longer or just gaming hangouts. Of the current 19 websites that are illegally operating at this time, 5 of them are based out of the United States but will not operate properly in the US. Users are met with a shut down message, but if you log in from anywhere outside of the United States you will find that every other country is still able to use these services. Another 5 of these sites shut down to all users following the cease and desist order, but have opened their doors back up and are still violating the policies set in place by Valve. At least 3 sites have actually expanded their operations and are now offering sportsbook gambling using the Valve trading service.
This does not toll well for Valve and the gaming community that uses the trading service for honest purposes. If the problem remains uncontrolled, it is quite likely that the lawsuit is going to head to court and Valve could be court ordered to shut down the service for all users just to put a stop to this growing problem. Valve itself may be ordered to pay a massive fine for the actions of the people that are abusing this system.
These unregulated sites are gaining attention from many gambling commissions across the globe, and are likely going to be the driving force behind new digital currency policies that will be meant to stop these types of platforms from being able to continue without a proper license.