Valve To Crack Down On Team Fortress 2 Item Gambling

Image: Valve

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gambling "scandal" was one of the bigger events of 2016, one that left a lot of destruction in its wake. After letting such activity slide, Valve started taking action against websites and Steam accounts promoting the behaviour. With a void to fill, it looks like these, uh, entrepreneurs have turned their eyes to Valve's other popular, multiplayer game with item trading.

Yes, it seems Team Fortress 2 has become a target for gambling sites, according to a statement from Valve yesterday. The announcement is brief, but pretty much explains everything it needs to:

In July of last year we outlined our position on gambling web sites, specifically noting that Valve has no business relationship with these sites. At that time we also began blocking many CSGO gambling accounts ... More recently, some gambling web sites started leveraging TF2 items. Today we began the process of blocking TF2 gambling accounts as well. We recommend you don’t trade with these sites.

It goes without saying that dealing with these sorts of sites was already bad idea. If you needed any more convincing to give them a pass, Valve's active investigation should be enough of a deterrent... unless you like the idea of (potentially) having your Steam account banned.

Item Trading [Team Fortress]


Comments

    Does this gambling happen because the system allows players to trade items in game? I mean, how does this work exactly? If someone wins or loses a bet on an external site, who governs whether or by the loser 'pays up'?

      The wagers are items transferred to a broker/escrow bot account, which then sends the winner their item afterwards. There's no direct trade between people, everything runs through the bot. It's also very easy to detect these bot accounts and when Valve shuts them down all the items on them are lost. A while back there were gambling sites complaining that they lost bot accounts in possession of tens of thousands of dollars worth of items.

      Personally I'm all for these bans. Exploiting the trade system in Steam to establish an illegal gambling ring that preys particularly on underage kids is scummy as fuck.

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