For a company renowned for having a loose definition of the term “soon”, see the much studied phenomenon of “Valve Time”, Valve has made a quick turn around with regards to responding to this whole Counter Strike: Global Offensive gambling mess.
Last week, Valve said they were going “start sending notices to [CS:GO skin gambling sites] requesting they cease operations through Steam,” since the sites operate through users’ Steam accounts, using them for a commercial purpose and thus violates the Steam Subscriber Agreement. Well, today we know that Valve have made good on that claim, having sent formal cease and desist letters to 23 gambling sites.
Uploaded by one of the gambling sites, CS:GO Big, and reported by Kotaku this morning, the letter reiterates that commercial usage of Steam accounts is against the SSA, and the recipients have 10 days to cease said use before Valve take further action, including banning their accounts.
Via CS:GO Big, here’s the letter in full:
We are aware that you are operating one of the gambling sites listed below. You are using Steam accounts to conduct this business. Your use of Steam is subject to the terms of the Steam Subscriber Agreement (“SSA”). Under the SSA Steam and Steam services are licensed for persona, non-commercial use only. Your commercial use of Steam accounts is unlicensed and in violation of the SSA. You should immediately cease and desist further use of your Steam accounts for any commercial purposes. If you fail to do this within ten (10) days Valve will pursue all available remedies including without limitation terminating your accounts.
The letter also lists the particular sites it has been served to, one of which is CS:GO Lotto, the site YouTubers Thomas Cassell and Trevor Martin failed to disclose they founded in their videos promoting it. Among others are CS:GO Lounge, CS:GO Strong, CS:GO Cosmos and many other CS:GO *unrelated random word* ones.
Interestingly, not all the sites are CS:GO related. One of the sites served is DOTA 2 Lounge, which obviously bets DOTA 2 items through users’ Steam accounts and thus also violates the SSA.
None of the sites have made any statements since the publishing of the cease and desist letter. But as Kotaku reports, some of the sites, like CS:G0 500 and CS:GO2X, publicly said they’d be changing their operations around the time Valve made their first statement regarding cracking down on them. While CS:GO and DOTA 2 gambling will surely survive in some form, it’ll be interesting to see how these websites respond to this Valve’s action, as their access to Steam accounts is vital to how their business functions.