Valve prohibits online gambling through Steam for Counter-Strike and Dota 2

ByJacob Wolf ESPN logo
Thursday, July 14, 2016

Valve took action against Counter-Strike and Dota 2 third-party gambling sites Wednesday, stating that utilizing Steam to facilitate their business does not comply with its user agreements. Sites currently in violation will be receiving notices to "cease operations through Steam," at which point Valve will "pursue the matter as necessary."

Valve's decision comes after two lawsuits were filed against it for its relationship to what the lawsuits call illegal gambling. Both lawsuits, filed in Connecticut and Florida, allege that Valve knowingly and willingly allowed gambling sites to operate unregulated gambling markets. In its announcement, however, Valve claims that it has no business affiliation with any of these sites, nor profited in any manner from their earnings.

According to insight and analytics company Narus Advisors, over $7.4 billion will be wagered annually through the Counter-Strike and Dota gambling and betting industries by the end of 2016, based off trends from previous years. A total of $3.3 billion of that is through sports books, such as popular site CSGO Lounge, $1.9 billion via lottery sites, such as CSGO Lotto and CSGO Diamonds, and the remaining amount throughout other types of "skin" gambling.