posted by AzrathAhmed,
No more virtual item betting on Dota2Lounge
Dota2Lounge became an integral part of the Dota 2 landscape, but following Valve's crackdown on virtual betting websites triggered by the infamous CS:GO Lotto scandal, we are seeing betting websites change their Terms of Service or just drop gambling outright.
D2L has a CSGO Lounge where you can gamble your skins on match outcomes, the same as Dota2Lounge, and with the current state of things it is clearly a very risky business to continue along with the same model. With this in mind on Tuesday D2L posted this on their Facebook page:
Today we are announcing that we are closing our virtual items betting functionality with immediate effect. Depositing virtual skins and items in order to place a bet is not possible anymore. At the moment we are working on a solution for items withdrawal, please stay tuned for an update on this topic. Lounge will continue as an e-Sports entertainment and information platform with new features to be released very soon.
Today we are announcing that we are closing our virtual items betting functionality with immediate effect.... https://t.co/U4FP0QVZA4— Dota2Lounge (@Dota2Lounge) 16 August 2016
Prior to this Dota2Lounge had limited access to the betting functions for users in countries where esports betting is forbbiden. They also updated the terms of service asking all users to confirm they are above the age of 18 and that they use the services "solely and exclusively for the purpose of your genuine participating in the Games and not for any financial or other operations". Dota2Lounge's changes are an attempt to keep everything above board to avoid breaking the Steam Subscriber agreement (explained below).
Implications - What does it mean for us?
It means no more "ez bugattis" or "ez rares". The website will now change from a betting website to a website about e-sports entertainment as stated. You can not gamble with your hats which shows Valve's stance towards the issue and is a direct extension of their stance towards people using virtual items to gamble with real money regardless of whether you're above the legal age or not.
When did this become an issue? The Main Cause: CS:GO Lotto among others
The CS:GO scandal, in short, was caused by the discovery that many CS:GO websites were advertising skins and betting to people under the legal gambling age. Two prominent CS:GO Youtubers Trevor "TmarTn" Martin and Tom "ProSyndicate" Cassell, were even sued after they were deemed to have actively promoted their gambling website CSGOLotto to minors.
However, they were not the only ones. James "PhantomL0rd" Varga, a high profile CS:GO streamer with 1.3 million followers on Twitch also had his channel shutdown for rigging bets. The purge was real and Valve took action to stamp out the underhand tactics used to cash in on in-game purchases and skins. The scandal which took place in July was easily the biggest to hit CS:GO since its inception, and the repercussions have even reached Dota 2.
When the truth was uncovered Valve came under fire from some people who claimed that Valve allowed underage gambling, and that they were to blame for enabling and supporting its existence. Valve issued cease and desist letters to 22 CS:GO betting websites as well as to Dota2Lounge, stating they were breaking the terms of the Steam Subscriber agreement by using Valve's services for commercial use.