Valve, Twitch to go against Item Betting Sites
Following recent scandales of personalities not properly disclosing their affiliations towards betting sites, Valve and Twitch both take a stand against the existence of Item betting on pro leagues and matches.
Item betting has long been a part of the Dota 2 and Counter Strike Global Offensive pro scene as part of the stream spectator community occasionally head on to Item betting sites to place bets through the way of in-game items that are traded towards betting bots as their show of support towards a preferred team in a tournament. However, as the supposed industry of Item Betting became large, even reaching a value of $2.3 billion in 2015 alone, and seemingly unregulated, certain personalities have learned to take advantage of the industry, and going as far as not properly disclosing their affiliations towards these websites, a case which was revealed just last week when certain YouTubers were found guilty of owning allegedly questionable item bet websites.
While business is business as what most would say, the problem with some of these betting sites is that how misleading can they get when it comes to their promotions, with some tactics even include rigging videos of personalities opening random item boxes of “high value” finds and telling viewers that they have won it through item betting even if, in most cases, it wasn’t true. In addition, Valve has also faced a few lawsuits themselves regarding the existence of said websites, as Item Bet platforms commonly use Steam’s OpenID API in order to operate and exchange goods to and from player steam inventories.
Following these string of issues, Valve has finally made a stand as they release their plans to send Cease and Desist notices to Item Betting websites and platforms that utilize Steam’s OpenID API, and will “further pursue the matter as necessary”, with Valve wishing to hopefully put a stop to the existence of Item Bets.
In addition to this, streaming platform giant, Twitch has also released their stance against streams that are sponsored by item betting websites utilizing Steam’s OpenID API, from individual streams to tournaments, stating that broadcasters are potentially violating Twitch’s ToS rules when linked with these betting platforms considering that the said platforms are also violating Valve’s rulings.
Not only the economy is affected
With the crackdown on Item Betting websites going underway, it is feared that this will greatly affect the community market of Valve’s games, CS:GO and Dota 2, as item betting has become a huge source of items and cosmetics for players worldwide, but, this fear may have to come secondary as the larger effect will be felt on tournaments that have learned to rely on Item Bets for sponsorship and exposure.
In addition to tournaments sponsored by betting sites, small scale tournament organizers that rely on item betting for exposure and viewership are also bound to take a hit and may force them to completely close down as these tournaments normally invite Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams, which lessens viewer interest, and may result in lower turnouts.
On how it truly affects everyone in the near future though, is yet to be revealed as Valve initially plans to send in notices for these platforms to cease operations, Item Betting sites and platforms may also have to revamp their systems and possibly find ways to continue their business without using Valve’s OpenID API, a route that can be highly impossible.