- Quinault Nation files a lawsuit against Valve Corporation, claiming the company has been facilitating skin gambling
- Valve denies allegations, but Quinault Nation claims that Valve has been benefitting from the illicit skin trade for years
- Skin gambling is illegal, but some sites continue to offer such options
Valve is again embroiled in a legal spat for allegedly facilitating and benefitting from skin gambling. The Washington State-based Quinault Nation native Indian tribe has rolled its sleeves up to take on Valve.
Valve Sued for Illegal Skin Gambling by Quinault Nation
Skin gambling has been around for quite some time. In 2016, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming posted a detailed report that projected the growth of skin gambling to surpass $1 billion in net value in 2020. The report had to be changed shortly after publication, as Valve moved on to clamp down on a dozen online skin betting websites.
Valve was responding to a class-action lawsuit which had accused the company was of facilitating underage gambling. Blomberg ran a very extensive piece on the subject, bringing the idea of gambling with make believe goods into the mainstream.
In honesty, Valve stepped up its act and has been inexorable in taking legal action against the offenders, warning miscreants of the repercussions should they continue to dabble in the forbidden segment.
Therefore, the lawsuit lodged by Washington State native Indian tribe Quinault Nation seems to be unfair. The tribe is alleging that Valve continues to promote betting with skins on Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) – which has never been the case.
According to the Tribe, this has led to unfair competition, other than the segment being illegal. If you are still a shade unfamiliar with what skins are, these are cosmetic items used in online gaming to give your avatar a distinct appearance.
The interest in them has been surging and with it the opportunities to exploit players and even the company that issues the product.
What Does the Tribe Want?
The incredulity of the lawsuit lies in the fact that Quinault Nation speaks of unfair competition, but Valve hasn’t been involved in any form of skin gambling. If anything, the company has tried to shut down illegal operators – something that is far from its obligations.
“Valve is well aware of the skins gambling that goes on, is well aware that skins have real world cash value…and actively encourages and facilitates skins gambling.”
However, Quinault Nation is taking advantage of the fact that Washington State tends to come down hard on anything that even resembles gambling. Even in 2016, lawyers said that even though Valve is not technically to blame, they could be vulnerable, especially when no precedents existed.
Valve is no stranger to the idea of gambling as the means to boost viewership and interest in its products. Recently, the company released a betting platform for Dota 2 powered with a mock-up currency which doesn’t translate into any real-world value.
Of course, policing the Internet is a tall order and Valve probably should step up its efforts. To be blamed for the malicious acts of third-parties by companies that hold gambling monopoly, though, is hypocritical to say the least.