The Native American Quinault Nation tribe, which operates a casino in Washington, is suing Valve Software. It is accusing the gaming firm of encouraging illegal online gambling through skins betting on games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).
The lawsuit was first reported by GeekWire on Friday, April 12.
Operators of the Quinault Beach Resort & Casino in Ocean Shores, Washington, says that Valve Software has allowed an environment in which illegal gambling can flourish. “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,” the lawsuit reportedly said.
Also, the Quinault Nation alleges that Valve Software is using unfair competition with licensed and regulated casinos in the state, which have to deal with extensive regulation in order to operate. Additionally, the lawsuit is alleging that Valve is using “loot crates”, which have been extensively investigated as a potential form of gambling by commissions globally.
This isn’t the first time Valve Software is in trouble for skins betting. Skins, in gaming, are the cosmetic upgrades a player unlocks or buys during gameplay. Players have created a culture of swopping and buying skins for cash. Furthermore, some third-party websites let players wager their skins in games of chance.
The state of Connecticut sued Valve Software in 2016, accusing the company of knowingly allowing illegal gambling sites to thrive. Valve attempted to shut them down with cease and desist letters, threatening to close their Steam accounts. But, that seems to have done little to slow down skins gambling.
“Valve has profited handsomely for years from illegal online gambling, and has only made token efforts to stop it,” the Quinault’s lawsuit said.
While Valve Software may not directly run any of these sites, they benefit from their existence. Skins betting operations have to use Valve’s software to facilitate the buying and selling of items. Also, they get a portion from each transaction.