The legal and ethical implications of CS: GO's unauthorised gambling culture came to a head recently, with several prominent YouTube personalities caught in the fallout. If you thought the drama was online only, think again, with one Australian senator keen to legislate gambling and video games.
Speaking with Fairfax's Catherine Armitage, South Australian senator and independent Nick Xenophon has revealed he will approach parliament next month with the intention of classifying "video games as gambling":
"This is the Wild West of online gambling that is actually targeting kids," Senator Xenophon said. The "insidious" games played by hundreds of thousands of Australian teenagers "purport to be one thing" but are "morphing into full-on gambling and that itself is incredibly misleading and deceptive", he said.
Unfortunately, scant details are available in the article as to the specifics of the legislation and at the time of writing, there's no mention of it on senator Xenophon's own site either. Until we have more information, it's difficult to determine the extent of the changes Xenophon is after.
However, the Fairfax story does feature a comparison to Japan's laws regarding games and gambling:
Legislation could make it illegal for games to seek payment for items of varying value according to chance, as is the case in Japan. There could be minimum age requirements on paying to play, and games could be required to carry clear warnings of gambling content.
A segment by the Today Show is also vague, providing more questions than answers.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) July 30, 2016
As expected, the tweet accompanying the video is just terrible.
Valve has already taken action against a great many gambling sites, though these are specific to the developer's own title, CS: GO. Truth be told, there is no governing body or organisation to monitor this kind of activity, so it was only a matter of time before politicians and governments had a crack themselves.
Depending on how the legislation is worded, a massive number of mobile games with in-app purchases could be classified as illegal. Right now, we need details before we can figure out the real-world ramifications.