The largest CS:GO skin betting site has announced yesterday that they will be ceasing their betting operations on upcoming matches. CSGO Lounge is, however, aiming to relaunch as “an eSports entertainment and information platform." Whether that will be like Twitch and Liquipedia combined remains to be seen.
This news comes roughly a month after Valve handed CSGO Lounge, as well as 21 other skin gambling websites, their cease and desist letter claiming that the sites violated Steam’s terms of service agreement.
The cease and desist letter was sent shortly after several people filed a class-action lawsuit against Valve, as the plaintiff argued that skin-betting is the same thing as real life gambling but is less regulated, and therefore illegal, in terms of CS:GO and CSGO Lounge. In the wake of receiving the cease and desist letter, CSGO Lounge began limiting betting functionality on the site, prohibiting users from placing bets on any further matches. The site was also looking to acquire a gambling license.
News also arised Monday that ESForce Holding, a sub-company of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who has invested heavily into the Eastern European eSports industry, owned the majority of CSGO Lounge. The relationship between the two was never made public, prompting discussion about whether the ownership posed any ethical concerns, much like the TmarTn and ProSyndicate Gambling fiasco earlier this year.