Skin betting websites are beginning to take action following Valve’s potentially seismic announcement Wednesday, in which the game maker said it was planning on sending notices to businesses that use its Steam API to facilitate gambling.
As of Thursday evening, at least three sites appear to be in the process of ceasing skin betting operations, with several others at least temporarily not operating.
Here’s a rundown of how sites have reacted in the wake of the announcement.
CSGODouble shuts down
CSGODouble posted an announcement on its website titled, “Valve pushes to shut down gambling sites. CSGODouble planning to close,” in which it declared its intention to shut down.
The roulette skin betting site encouraged those with existing balances to withdraw funds at their earliest convenience.
The site allows users to deposit skins in exchange for credits. Users then use that credit system to bet on a roulette-style game.
Roulette will remain open on Double, the announcement said, until each of its users is successfully cashed out.
The full text of the announcement from CSGODouble’s owner, Foobar, is posted below.
In light of the recent announcement from Valve CSGODouble has decided to close operations.
Effective immediately we will no longer be accepting deposits.
Those with existing balances are encouraged to withdraw at their earliest convenience.
Please keep in mind that our bots will be under heavy load – please remain patient while we deal with cashing everyone out.
Roulette will remain open (for now) while we work to cash everyone out.
Thank you for being a part of this amazing project.
CSGOWild temporarily shutting down, teases surprise
In a post on the official CSGOWild Steam community forum, the site seemed to indicate it was temporarily shutting down, saying it would stay online so users could withdraw their skin balances.
It said it would even purchase more skins itself to make sure it could be solvent for any potential run-on-the-bank scenario.
It also teased a new, secret project that its team has worked on over the past few months, hinting at a pivot in future operations.
The website left the U.S. market in late June, apparently of its own accord.
The full text of the announcement from CSGOWild is posted below.
As many of you have heard, Valve announced that it will begin shutting down trading bots that are used with skin gambling websites.
Today is July 14th, 2016. Wild has not been contacted by Valve.
Being a leader in the community, we worked day and night to be provide a fun, safe place for users to win skins over the past year. We’re thankful to everyone that’s participated in our giveaways, played on the site and promoted us.
Wild will stay online for users to withdraw their existing balances. If you see withdrawals disabled for 5-10 minutes, that means we’re restocking the store with skins from our reserves.
We are ready to purchase extra skins to make sure everyone gets withdrawn.
Thank all of you for your support. Our team has been working on a secret project for the past few months.
All we can say is stay tuned. #GoWild
CSGORumble shuts down, teases new product
Romanian skins betting site CSGORumble shut down Thursday, as well.
In a short announcement on its website that linked directly to Valve’s announcement from Wednesday, it noted that “A fun & amazing era unfortunately ends.”
Similarly to Wild, the site teased a new product offering in the future. It said the new game would not be related to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
According to its Reddit page, the jackpot-style website allowed multiple players to deposit CS:GO skins into a pot until a “pre-defined threshold” was reached, and a random winner was drawn.
CSGOLotto still not accepting bets
CSGOLotto put a pop-up announcement on its home page on July 8 saying that due to the high amount of expected trading activity surrounding ESL One Cologne that upcoming weekend, it would shut down all game modes on its site.
Cologne, however, ended the afternoon of July 10. As Polygon notes, Lotto hasn’t accepted bets for at least four days following the tournament’s conclusion.
It’s unknown if Lotto’s announcement was in anticipation of any sort of decision by Valve, but it did pre-date Valve’s announcement by five days.
Of the multiple skin betting scandals preceding Valve’s announcement, Lotto’s might have received the most attention.
The site’s owners misrepresented that they owned the site while they advertised for it.
As part of that advertisement, the owners themselves played on the slot-style betting site. Their ownership position could have made it possible for them either to know of or affect the outcomes of slot ‘hashes’ in advance of their playing, thereby affecting their ability to win.
CSGODiamonds closes for maintenance
Since 10:29 a.m. ET Thursday morning, CSGODiamonds has been closed for maintenance, according to a spartan message on its website.
While the note encourages users to “try again in a few minutes,” the notice remained up at least five hours after it was initially posted.
CSGODiamonds is a variable-odds dice rolling website in which, similar to Double, players deposit skins and convert their value to a virtual currency. Players then wager that virtual currency (Diamonds) on the outcome of said dice rolls.
The website found itself embroiled in a scandal after it paid sponsored player m0E to stream several hours of his playing on the site to his legion of fans as a way to advertise Diamonds.
The former professional CS:GO player admitted that the site owners told him the outcomes of his rolls on the site in advance, thereby helping ensure that he won more often than he lost.
No drop off in CSGOLounge activity
It’s too early to draw many conclusions from the sites that appear to be conducting business as usual, including on CSGOLounge, which is by far the largest esportsbook skin betting site.
Perhaps the only conclusion that can be drawn about Lounge is that its business certainly hasn’t shut down, yet.
With day two of the ELEAGUE last-chance qualifying round underway Thursday, a single-elimination match between G2 and mouz drew 160,000 items bet by over 47,000 people.
Each of those figures exceed the combined amount of both of Wednesday’s LCQ matches, which got underway around the time of Valve’s announcement.
Who else could act?
It is unknown if third-party skins-to-cash websites, such as OPSkins, are being targeted as well. A source confirmed to ESBR late Thursday that OPSkins had not been contacted by Valve or asked to cease operating.
It is also unknown if any skin betting websites, including CSGODouble, are reacting to the receipt of any formal notice yet, or simply to Valve’s online announcement.