Great. Because "gamer gate" didn't do enough damage to the word "gamer" already. Not only has the word gamer been associated with sexism and performance enhancing drugs. Now we also have "under age gambling" - Fantastic is it not? The problem is, this isn't just speculation. This is a real problem. And it goes on without the consent of the developers in most cases. In this article we will be using CS:GO and the CS:GO Lounge as an example.
Betting on sports
Let's face it. CS:GO is a sport. It is an eSport and is widely viewed as such. It brings in millions of viewers every day, on both Twitch and YouTube. So as with Football (soccer) and UFC and American Football (eggball) betting is going to occur. And often this is controlled by the host of the event or the developer of the game often through verified sites like bet365. Which indeed does give you the possibility to bet on eSports such as League of Legends, Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Heroes of the storm and indeed Counter Strike: Global Offensive. At the core: Betting on sports is nothing new. Betting on eSports is nothing unusual or illegal, as long as it is done by adults and through verified betting sites/brokers. The problem here is. It's underage kids and teenagers. Gambling without the knowledge of their parents. And it's seemingly impossible to stop.
This is not to say "END ALL GAMBLING!" gambling is fine as long as it is done legally and above board. The great thing about most of these sites is that they require you to have a credit card, which is something no child has since you have to be the age of 18 or over to receive such a card.
The problem isn't just that there is underage gambling going on. The problem is that it's really hard to put an end to an epidemic like this. There's no real legal avenue to take since most of these third party sites, such as CS:GO Lounge claim no liability, they just offer a service and they don't have any control as to who uses their service; So they claim anyway.
As stated above, to bet on most legal and verified betting sites one requires a credit card. How ever CS:GO Lounge works on a system that allows even minors to bet and gamble on the site.
How it works: When you enter CS:GO Lounge you first sign in on steam. Then you find your 'Steam trade URL' and post it in a box on CS:GO Lounge. After that is done you are basically set and ready to gamble. You first select the match from the right side of the home screen. Then you select which team you want to bet on. Now here comes the part that enables minors: You select which and how many CS:GO in game skins you want to trade. Now as most know CS:GO skins are bought for real money. On steam, online, and you can in fact buy CS:GO crates on CS:GO Lounge that contain in game items that you can use to bet. You can buy these things through steam. This is what enables minors to either lie or trick their parents into giving them steam money or money to buy CS:GO skins. You then either receive more skins if you won or nothing if you lost.
I don't mean to be rude to the fine gentleman teaching you how to gamble on CS:GO Lounge in this fine YouTube video. But this gentleman is certainly not over the age of 18, if he is, he needs to have his testicles checked, because his voice makes him sound 15. This is what I meant by proof.
- Steam linked
- Skins bought
- Game selected
- Team chosen
- Bet amount selected
- Trade for the skins
- Game results then determine what and how much you receive in return
Whether the site is deliberately made to enable kids an teenagers to take part in gambling is still unknown. Maybe it's just a convenient way for them to go about their business (which is unsupported by Valve, the game's developer). But why it is how it is doesn't matter all that much. When a service is found out to have illegal activity such as this taking place. That service should be held liable and either forced by law or boycotted by the community until this problem is fixed.
Is this really a problem? YES! Even if it's "safe" or "legit" even if it's not economically destroying the kid, teen or their family it doesn't matter. Gambling is an addiction. As real as alcohol, as real as drugs. If we can, let's fix the problem before it's too late. This can only be done with the power of a community. I encourage discussion about this. Both here on DamnLag and where ever you can get your word in.
eSports is a fairly new thing. Not recognized as a legitimate sport by many. This doesn't only put a black spot on the future of eSports, but gaming in general. Let's join forces. Let's eradicate this problem.
Signed, "The mad cynic" - Crimson
Underage gambling & eSports | Ramblings of a mad cynic
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