The success of the computer game “Counter Strike: Global Offensive” (CS: GO) has given boost to the profitable online gambling industry. Even though online gambling is at its nascent stage, the popularity of CS: GO has resulted in a number of kids spending a significant amount time and money on the game.
Here’s how a simple game like CS: GO can become a part of online gambling. The game has features which enable the player to equip artificial skins to their weapons in the game. These skins possess a certain monetary value and can be granted to a player for free, after opening a case or purchasing from an online market on Steam’s platform. However, the skins available for free are very common and hold a very small value of only a few cents. Nonetheless, the rare skins can be purchased from Steam’s virtual online market or by opening cases, which can be unlocked with an amount of $2.49.
These rare and expensive skins can be sold on Steam’s online market in exchange for online credit or real money on selective third party sites.
There are many players who do not prefer to purchase skins, hence they choose to place bets as an attempt to acquire some money. Players can gamble over these skins on betting sites and also place a bet on professional CS: GO matches.
The earnings are calculated based on the performance of the team. An anonymous student at Canyon Crest Academy was asked if he had lost money online, he responded. “Yes, I lost $200 while gambling skins on websites called CSGO Lounge and CSGO Lotto before they were banned.”
Apart from the above-mentioned way of gambling, there is the traditional casino style gambling solely based on luck. The players deposit their skin, and the result is declared by a third-party site which chooses the winner. The chances of winning more skins are directly proportional to the amount put in by the players. “Skins” can be substituted with chips in a casino.
When Tyler Chae-Banks, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy was asked whether CS: GO gambling is addictive, he replied, “Yes…it’s like any other gambling type of thing; you get the rush of winning. When you lose, you think ‘I can make it back.”
Skin gambling has made a huge impact on the mind set of online players. Instead of playing CS: GO for entertainment, they are playing it for its online betting thrills of collecting skins and money. This shows that online gambling can prove to be successful and profitable.
Online gambling in video games is fairly new and faces some challenges like legal issues. The online gamblers need to be above 18 years, however, there is no specific method for verification. This industry ends up attracted kids who are interested in gaming and might face legal challenges when it comes to gambling. An undeniably unscientific poll conducted on Strawpoll received 5000 votes which revealed that 46% of gamblers were under the age of 18.
There are various other points which pose as challenges. The question arises that whether or not “skins” should be considered “a thing of value” under law.
Chae-Banks states that a majority…of [CS: GO betting] sites have been shut down in the last five months because of underage gambling. Nevertheless, there are several sites like CS: GO Roll which still exist.
Young minds can be deceived easily and hence, hungry predators lurk at opportunities disguising themselves in the form of child-friendly games to make the most of their businesses.