In recent years, the case of CSGO betting has been discussed many, many times. Everyone seems to question its legitimacy and morality, but rarely does someone look beyond the scope of betting in-game skins and items.
But, let us go back a little. If you are here on Prewhistle, then you are probably interested in betting on soccer. However, there is more to this world than the most popular sport in the world. So, let us start with something else.
If you already know what CSGO is, feel free to skip ahead to the next heading. If not, prepare to get your mind blown away.
CSGO, which stands for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is actually a video game. It is a part of a series of games known as Counter-Strike, which are among the most popular multiplayer competitive games in the world.
Each year, millions upon millions of dollars are spent on (and won in) professional tournaments all around the world, with the best players easily becoming millionaires after winning a handful of prize pools.
And, just like with any high-paying sport, CSGO also has a betting scene. The problem with it, though, is that unlike most other sports, when viewers bet on Counter-Strike matches, they seldom do it with cold, hard cash. This leads us to our next point.
Counter-Strike is a game that can be played by just about anyone with a half-decent PC. And while people play the game, it will eventually award them small cosmetic items to use in the game.
So far, it sounds like any other game out there, but the problem here is that these items can be sold on something called the Steam Marketplace for very real money, which people can use to buy other video games or other cosmetic items.
That money can’t actually be withdrawn as actual, real-life cash, but it still assigns monetary value to virtual item. Therefore, these cosmetic items (also called skins) are valuable to someone. This is where skin betting comes in.
Long story short, a lot of people decided to make websites where CSGO players can bet their hard-earned skins and, potentially, get them back if they win the bet with some extra items as a reward. If they lose the bet, the house keeps everything.
There are two main problems with these websites, however. First, they are not legally registered as gambling entities. This makes them, if not illegal, then at least borderline legit. Second, they do not advertise themselves as betting sites, which means they allow children to gamble their in-game items away.
Enough about that, though. These problems have been discussed in-depth and a lot of people that are probably far smarter than us here are trying to do something about them. So, let us put on our big boy pants and move on to the subject at hand.
People are so focused on how skin betting should be banned that they forget one tiny detail. You can actually bet on Counter-Strike (and other eSports) with actual money instead.
The difference between CSGO betting with cash and that with skins is that the cash bets actually take place at real, legitimate casinos. Websites such as Betfair, Betsafe and others offer (or have offered in the past) completely legitimate eSports bets.
The best thing about it is that the law actually regulates these bets. They are not some shady, borderline illegal websites that feed off gullible teenagers. These are real casinos where grown men with some knowledge about eSports and gambling can make a quick buck when their wives need new shoes.
In the end of the day, just like with any other modern craze, the skin-betting websites will die down. Several professional players already got banned because of them; class-action lawsuits have been popping up left, right, and center; gamers and critics alike have been bashing these shady corners of the community.
And while that rages on, the legitimate Counter-Strike cash bets have slowly been gaining traction. So, if you are into video games and like the thrill of a good bet, you might want to look into them.