E-Sports Recoil After Valve Skins-Betting Crackdown

Moves by online games platform Valve against a number of skins gambling sites offering unregulated betting on virtual contests has roiled e-sports, driving audiences down more than 40 percent in some cases, while new action by gambling regulators is forcing the e-sports ecosystem to regroup and relocate.

In early July, Valve, the publisher behind a number of e-sports games including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO), issued cease and desist letters to more than 30 skins gambling websites, including such popular sites as CSGO Lounge, CSGO Lotto and CSGO Diamonds.

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