For the unaware, Counterstrike: Global Offensive has a massive section of it’s players that spend a lot of time gambling item skins. You’ve probably seen pro players with names like “Navi.namehere.CSGOlounge” or some type of variation. These websites operate very simply, and rake in an astounding amount of money. Something to the tune of 2.3 billion dollars. That is massive. That is the GDP of a small country. Right now, CSGOLotto is in hot water over some not-so-obvious business choices.
Now, CSGO gambling has a lot of opposition. There are lawsuits currently claiming that these sites allow children under the age of 18 to gamble. While there are some loopholes, they do pretty much allow kids to piss away money. An unaware parent might allow their child to buy a few weapon skins online, but not know that they have practically handed real currency over to their child, and let them loose in a casino. There is a massive disconnect with the general public and internet currency. When I tell people that I have items in Dota 2 worth close to 100$, they don’t see it as actual money, despite me being able to cash it in. Now when you consider there are items out there worth thousands of dollars, you start to see how this gambling can become a real world problem. The internet isn’t a vacuum that exists out in space or something. The currency lost here can have real life repercussions. Websites like CSGOLotto help facilitate this by literally allowing me to put any number of my items at stake, and flip a coin to see if I win more. Personally I’ve never used any of the Counterstrike sites, but I’ve been told it is nothing more than a coin flip. I would say that anyone who bets anything more than a few bucks on a coin flip needs to check into a gambling rehab clinic.
I do have personal experience with Dota 2 gambling, in a way. I have bet on pro matches before, which to me is similar, but certainly not in the same scale. I’m talking pennies, while some of these people are betting thousands.
So here comes the real issue. There are two popular YouTubers by the names of Tmartn and ProSyndicate. You may have heard of them. They each have many videos showing them bettering on CSGOlotto and winning thousands of dollars worth of items. Pretty cool I suppose. You can watch someone else do it. Get the thrill of gambling, without losing anything in return. But you must ask yourself, how many people have started using this site because of videos like this? I mean, my favorite YouTuber just won 10 grand on it, and then won another 5 g’s. Maybe I can get lucky? I’ve got a nice knife worth 100$ in CS, I’ll just bet it and win another. Sooner or later, that knife is gone. And mom and dad are asking why you need their credit card again.
So you dump more money into items, and likewise more money into CSGOLotto. Of course, the house takes their 5%, and the rich get richer. But who owns this website? That’s right. None other than Tmartn and ProSyndicate. Now I’m not going to give these scumbags any more views than they already have by linking a video, but I can tell you after watching a few of them that nowhere do they ever make mention of owning this site. So not only do they rake in subscribers by the millions, while making fat stacks of cash, but they lose absolutely no money by using their own site. Just a little bit shady.
Now they have recently stepped up and said that they were always transparent on owning the site, and that there’s no way they could live with themselves by scamming people like this. Which is ironic considering their videos never mentioned it, and they also went back in the last few days and added a disclaimer mentioning the site on all their videos (which was not there before).
There are a lot of possible legal ramifications for this. I aint passed the bar but I know a little bit, but I won’t pretend to be a lawyer. The Federal Trade Commission is sure to get involved with this soon, if not already. CSGOLotto is currently down, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it disappear. Youtube is ran by ghouls and fiends, so I’m sure these two YouTube channels will stay active. But internet gambling is going to be hitting some rocky territory soon.