Twitch Bans Promotion Of Counter-Strike Gambling

Streaming megasite Twitch has updated its community guidelines, and now prohibits streamers from promoting or being sponsored by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skin gambling sites. This new ban could impact many CS:GO streamers who have lucrative deals with these controversial websites.

In CS:GO, trading and gambling of skins and other cosmetics has long been big business, with some rare, sought-after skins selling for hundreds or even thousands of dollars online. This has led to many players spending money on CS:GO skin gambling sites, effectively turning the in-game cosmetics and Steam’s trading system into a slot machine they can pull over and over again for a fee, rewarding players with items that can (sometimes) be very valuable. These skin gambling sites—which some players condemn due to accusations they prey on minors—often pay or sponsor streamers to promote their sites, with some players even streaming themselves spinning for rare cosmetics on Twitch itself. But now, it seems that might be coming to an end.

On August 2, Twitch quietly updated its community guidelines, adding a new section that directly prohibits Twitch users who feature or promote CS:GO skin gambling sites. Here’s the new guideline after today’s update:

Is sponsorship of skins gambling, such as for CS:GO skins, allowed on Twitch?

No, promotion or sponsorship of skins gambling is prohibited under our policy.

This is bad news for streamers who have deals with any of these cosmetic gambling sites. One big-name example that might be impacted by this new ban is G2 Esports, a large-scale organization that employs numerous players and content creators.

In May, the group announced a big partnership with CSGORoll, a site that calls itself a “CS:GO skins trading market” but also lets players win skins and other in-game items by placing bets and making rolls. It’s likely CSGORoll would be considered a skin gambling site by Twitch, which would—if the Amazon-owned service enforces this new rule—likely mean G2 Esports won’t be able to promote CSGORoll during its streams. Awkward, as the site’s logo is on G2 Esports’ jerseys, and its players appear on the CSGORoll homepage.

Unanswered questions about Twitch’s new rule

Beyond G2, many other streamers might be affected by the new ban, as pointed out in a popular video condemning skin gambling published in July 2023 by YouTuber HOUNGOUNGAGNE. In their video they report that an estimated 75 percent of the top 300 CS:GO Twitch streamers have skin-gambling sponsors. If this new guideline is enforced, all of these players would have to quickly cut ties with these sites and the lucrative sponsorship deals they offer or face a possible Twitch ban.

Of course, there are still some questions. Does this new rule ban streamers from streaming themselves using CS:GO skin gambling and trading sites? The wording is a bit vague and only specifies promotions and sponsorship deals. Another question some have is if this new rule takes effect immediately, and what that means for folks who might have signed deals with sites and have certain obligations to uphold.

Kotaku has reached out to Twitch for more information about the ban. But for now, between Valve cracking down on skin traders over the last few years and Twitch’s new rules, it seems the era of CS:GO streamers hawking skin-gambling sites to thousands of viewers is coming to an end.

Roblox Hit With Lawsuit Claiming It Profits Off Child Gambling

An image shows a robber running away in Jailbreak.

Image: Roblox

Roblox has long been accused of not doing enough to make sure its massively popular gaming platform is free of toxicity and exploitation. Now parents are joining together in a class-action lawsuit to take the $17 billion company to court over allegations that it gets children into online gambling and profits off of it.

As first reported by Bloomberg Law (via Axios), the lawsuit was filed in federal court in the Northern District of California on August 15 on behalf of parents Rachel Colvin and Danielle Sass. They accuse the enormously successful game creation tool (that doubles as an online social hangout with over 65 million active users)of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and claim it acts in concert with third-party websites “to profit from gambling games meant to attract kids.”

A handful of online gambling sites are also included as defendants in the lawsuit. The parents’ argument rests on the fact that Roblox users, including kids, can use their in-game Robux paid for with real world cash to gamble on virtual items. While Roblox officially bars gambling and other illicit activities, the lawsuit claims the company is complicit since it allows the funds to be transferred to the gambling websites directly through the Robux wallet, on which it earns a healthy commission.

“Each of the Illegal Gambling Websites operates on or in concert with Roblox and the Gambling Website Defendants, facilitating an exchange of Robux for gambling credits that occurs on the Roblox platform,” the lawsuit alleges. “Indeed, Robux never leave the Roblox platform until they are exchanged for cash. Once a minor user’s credits are exhausted, the Gambling Website Defendants cash out their newly-acquired Robux and provide Roblox with its 30% transaction fee.”

Read More: Roblox Trying To Describe Adult Poop Is Very Funny

Roblox didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but told Bloomberg Law in a statement that, “These are third-party sites and have no legal affiliation to Roblox whatsoever. Bad actors make illegal use of Roblox’s intellectual property and branding to operate such sites in violation of our standards.” It added that it continues to be “vigilant” in going after companies that violate its policies or “endanger the safety” of its community.

Roblox has recently tried to leverage the success of its kid-centric platform by trying to appeal to more mature audiences with games rated for users 17 and older, and tools to do job interviews inside the platform. The ‘metaverse’ of our dreams is apparently just another awkward conversation where someone asks you where you see yourself in five years. Roblox has lost 40 percent of its market value since this time last year, despite continuing to attract new players.


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