The latest Valve CS GO Update brings about a small change which will affect the community in a big way. The update places a seven-day ban on trading new items. This basically means that if you acquire a new item, either via trading or buying from the marketplace; you have to wait for seven days before being able to trade it again.
The full announcement can be read on the official CS GO Blog. Valve has taken these steps after repeated failures in previous actions to stop Skin Gambling altogether.
The official Valve statement lists the purpose of the seven day wait period to ‘curb the misuse of Valve’s Trading feature’. Trading has become a core component of Valve’s games with the economy being supported by income from Trading and the marketplace. However unregulated gambling and betting on matches has been an unintended side effect of the same.
Steam trading was created to allow customers to easily exchange items with each other, and each day we see thousands of customers using Steam Trading in this way. Recently we’ve been looking into ways to reduce some negative unintended uses of trading in CS:GO (such as fraud and scams), with the goal of preserving trade between players.
Starting today, CS:GO items received in trade will have the same seven-day trade cooldown as items purchased in-game or via the Steam Community Market.
Over time, third-parties have developed services that use automated Steam accounts to mimic players and make use of Steam’s trading functionality. Unfortunately, some of these third party services have become a vector for fraud or scams. Unlike players, these services rely on the ability to trade each item very frequently. In contrast, a given item moves between actual players no more than once a week in the vast majority of cases.
We want to make sure that Steam item trading is a useful feature that continues to provide customers with the freedom to give and receive items as they wish. However, we realize today’s change may also be disruptive to some players. We’ll continue to evaluate trading policies as time goes on, and if you have any feedback or concerns about the change you can email us at CSGOTeamFeedback@valvesoftware.com.
There is no doubt that the trading update had Valve’s good intentions. But any decision relating to trading will always have an adverse effect on regular users and gambling. The Game Developer has come under a lot of community criticism for their inaction towards skin gambling websites. Underage gambling is a real problem in esports, thanks, in part, to Valve.
While the community might not view it as overtly positive, it actually is quite a responsible thing to do. The update brings about a halt to the gambling industry. With each passing day, we see numerous small websites popping up offering gambling services and match betting features. These websites induce users to deposit skins and earn easy money.
None of us would have been in the same position within the scene without skins in CS. Sorry to break it to you.
— Nicolai Reedtz (@dev1ce) March 30, 2018
These websites often trick users into believing the concept of easy money via betting. Since the average age of CS GO players is very young, their minds are very impressionable. Regular Gambling laws, which usually don’t apply to skin betting websites are not effective in curbing the various negative problems arising from skin gambling. As such it becomes imperative for legal committees to take the matter up and decide whether Valve’s marketplace should be judged with the same severe rules as regular gambling websites.
Valve’s decision to put a seven-day trade ban on new items is actually quite smart. It prevents the quick functioning of gambling websites. Most of these websites rely on volumes instead of the individual bets in order to earn money. With the latest update, the frequency of users placing bets and depositing skins is definitely going to suffer a setback.
On an average, Valve says that regular active players do not trade multiple times within a week. Of course, this data is skewed with the number of alternate accounts and smurfs in the CS GO community. But it is a roughly correct estimate to say that users do not trade within them as much as they do with trade bots.
This is the email I sent to @csgo_dev. It takes 5 minutes to express whatever views you may have on the new trade cool downs and I would URGE you to let them know that the new policy does a lot more harm than good.
Email them at: CSGOTeamFeedback@valvesoftware.com pic.twitter.com/s66S3iBUFn
— ROFL (@roflm0nster) March 30, 2018
So for the major part, this update should not affect regular trade happening between players. Keeping their core user base intact, Valve’s decision will mostly affect traders and gambling websites.
The update does not really affect the big websites in a way that is effective. Most of the big gambling websites today, use their own currency system. The currency system basically ensures that users will deposit their skins in order to receive points on the website. These points are exclusive to the parent website and are useless on any other website. The opportunity to earn more skins in a quick and risk-free way is a big lure to young kids.
This won’t do so much against gambling, if anything. They will just have you deposit your skins for currency on the website. Scammers will be there too, still. This crippled the legit trade-market where people have invested SO many hours and money in it.. explain if u disagree..
— Nicolai Reedtz (@dev1ce) March 30, 2018
The websites are using this workaround for quite some time. Valve has already taken action last year by banning Trade Bots on certain websites.While banning Trade bots definitely put a dampener on the fast pace of the industry, the websites quickly worked out another way. The currency system mentioned earlier has been working successfully on several websites.
The CSGO Update will not affect the big websites, it will only affect small and upcoming websites. Most of the big websites have a large inventory that can easily last more than seven days. So the main problem of eradicating such websites remains valid.
While this is not a direct result of the update, there will be an uptick in the number of scams. The overall volume of the skin gambling industry will definitely come down drastically. Users will not be able to quickly cash out their skins as and when they desire. The seven-day trade bans basically discourage the entire industry to function at a fast pace. The pace of the industry is one of the biggest features for the success of gambling websites.
There will always be more people resorting to selling items in real life and without the security of the Valve marketplace or other trusted websites such as Opskins. This raises a valid security concern. However, it also absolves Valve of any potential claims since they always discourage the real money trading and selling of cosmetic items. A user should not trust another user and trade skins for free.
The seven-day ban on trading items might not directly result in a shutdown of the skin gambling websites. But it will not be as profitable for these websites to continue their operations at a normal pace.We will see lowered visibility as some of these websites will definitely cut down on their advertising budget.
Valve has been the recipient of several lawsuits over the course of the past few years. The Washington Gambling Commission has ordered Valve to stop the skin gambling industry. Underage, unregulated gambling is a serious issue which creates addiction disorders in young gamers. Without proper regulation and updates, we have seen players gambling away thousands of dollars on competitive games and in gambling.
The intent of this update is to provide a safety from potential lawsuits. The update will affect regular users in a very minimal way, but it will have a big effect on gambling websites. It will also create a big dent in users trying to profit from the steam marketplace with frequent trades and betting. The purpose of cosmetic skins is for fun and to provide entertainment. The creation of an unregulated monetary industry was an unfortunate side effect.
Source: Valve CS GO Blog