Steam updates code of conduct, prohibits gambling

Steam updates code of conduct, prohibits gambling

Picture: Valve

Steam’s Online Code of Conduct has just been updated, and for the most part it contains expected language explicitly prohibiting illegal activity, harassment, use of cheats, and manipulation of the Steam client. But a new addition to the code of conduct is a strict ban on “commercial activity,” which includes gambling, a subject of controversy and legal trouble for Valve in the past.

Valve can have once promoted CS: GOgun skin market like letting you “experience all the illicit thrills of black market gun dealing” without any of the bad stuff, but that same store quickly sparked controversy. As the skins game flourished thanks to this Forbes describe as a “liquid market to convert every gun or knife back into cash”, it has caught the attention of some legal experts. They believe that the same regulatory structures that are in place for gambling in traditional sports should be in place for games, depending on the value attached to CS: GO skins as a result of professional match results (which topped $2 billion in 2015 alone) and the significant expense associated with it.

Valve has since emerged victorious legal claims that attempted to hold him liable for playing a role in unregulated gambling. Now, in order to avoid any nebulous interpretation of Valve’s relationship with illicit gaming sites and activities, Steam, its digital storefront, has had its online code of conduct updated to expressly prohibit gambling. Anyone caught violating this policy risks an account ban.

Spotted by CS: GO xMercy collector, the game has been added to the Prohibitions Against Commercial Activities, which includes a list of banable offenses such as “buying or selling Steam accounts”, selling gift cards, “begging” or even “the publication of advertisements”.

As xMercy highlights, “commercial activity” was something Valve had always been vigilant about on Steam. The significant change here is the direct mention of the game.

interest in CS: GO skins is likely to remain high, but now Valve has made it clear that it will not condone direct uses of the service to facilitate uncontrolled play.


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