“Just visit our site and get a CS: GO knife for free!” – there is a lot of such advertising in Steam and other social networks. And this lure – only the tip of a huge financial iceberg. But what does all this mean? Patience, soon the secret will be revealed: we will draw the most complete picture for you.

Rebirth Counter Strike: Global Offensive

At the very beginning, CS: GO was not so popular as it now. The whole hordes of irreconcilable haters fell upon the game: “CS:Source is a hundred times better! 1.6 a thousand times better!” – They shouted. But everything changed in August of 2013, with the release of the Arms Deal supplement.

Valve added in-game skins for weapons, the old-timers somehow forgot that AK-47 no longer fires where it should, and along with the newbies got carried away with the gambling discovery of the notorious lootboxes/ weapon cases.

The keys for these containers need to be bought for real money – 2 and a half dollars each. But even after spending money for key you need to be very lucky to get at least a rare purple skin, the cost of which (at the moment of the Arms Deal event) on the Steam can easily exceed a couple hundred dollars.

Like any popular lottery, all this has grown to an insane scale. According to Bloomberg (one of the largest business publications in the world, along with the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times), over 2 years after the Arms Deal update, the number of CS: GO players has grown by 1,500%. The turnover of skins for the full 2015 amounted to 2 billion 300 million dollars.

As in any sphere of business, a gambling opportunity appeared here. But when it comes to online gambling games, you can safely multiply money turnover by a hundred percent. Literally, in a year and a half, a whole number of sites appeared that deal with the following: they take any number of weapon skins, mix them into a common “pot”, start a random number generator – and the winner takes all the skins for himself.

Everyone can participate, without restrictions – even 11-year-old children. After all, it’s not about casino and not about real money, it’s just about some virtual colorings for a computer game. The fact that skins easily turn into dollars (PayPal and some other methods of withdrawing funds) the site owners prefer to be modestly silent.

Maybe a respected Valve corporation condemns such suspicious behavior? But no, wait, why condemn this is an honest business, and the guys do not play for money, but only for in-game items. And the fact that for the transfer of skins sites should be officially tied to the Steam ecosystem, and according to the terms of the cooperation agreement, Valve gets 15% of the profits.

How people shouldn’t do

All this would have remained in the shadows, but thanks to YouTube, a whole subgenre has appeared quite a long time ago: videos about how happy individuals play and win in various lotteries of CS: GO.

One of the most popular YouTube in this field is Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Tom “Syndicate” Cassel: the number of their subscribers is in the millions. A few years ago, they began to promote one of the CSGO Lotto websites.

Youtubers allegedly accidentally stumbled upon this wonderful site, and they were lucky – they have won very rare skins from CS: GO and post videos on their YouTube channels on this subject with clickbaits like “How to get 1500 bucks in a few minutes”, advising subscribers to try their luck. For the fragile children’s minds, and for many old-time fans of gambling such viral videos is like a mentor. Not surprisingly, the popularity of the CSGO Lotto site jumped dozens of times.

And then it also turned out by chance that Trevor and Tom are owner and vice president of CSGO Lotto. The immediate fact of the scam has not yet been proved, but it is impossible to constantly win rare skins. According with the US Federal Trade Commission. Trevor and Tom violated at least one rule: they published advertising materials as independent customers, without mentioning anywhere else that they controlled the praised company themselves.

We take great risks, but at the end of this chapter I would like to quote a few words about the role of Valve. Jasper Ward, American lawyer defending the interests of affected gamers: “Valve – as the owner of the bar, allowing muddy characters to open a roulette in the back room.

Teenagers sell chips at the entrance, but even in case of a win, you can exchange them back for money only at a pawnshop across the road. Replace the bar on Steam and other software, roulette and pawnshop on third-party sites in this allegory, and chips on skins, and you will understand what I’m saying.”

Betting and gambling always will be in our lives in one form or another and chances for winning it these games are different. Everywhere, where two sportsmen or two teams decided to measure themselves by strength, dexterity and intellect, there is a share of spectators who are ready to put a bet with a hard-earned money on their favorite. The main thing is to direct all this to an honest and transparent channel, and to prevent the access of minors by effective means of control.

The first steps in this direction are already being made. For example, on the CSGO Lounge website has a schedule of all at least some significant Counter Strike competitions and the opportunity to bet on any of them. Further – everything is like at the races. Suppose the match is coming Team Liquid and NRG.

The former has a projected winning chance of around 70%, while the latter have only 30%. But if NRG still succeeds in snatching the victory out of the hands of “Liquid”, the brave souls who have placed on the dark horse will break a big sum! It’s clear that everything related to gambling must be regulated officially.