The world of eSports gambling could soon be quickscoped if an Australian politician has his way.
Independent Australian Senator Nick Xenophon says “insidious” games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) are exploiting children with in-game purchases and third-party gambling sites. Senator Xenophon plans to table a bill that will redefine gambling in the Interactive Gambling Act to including game.
“This is the Wild West of online gambling that is actually targeting kids,” Senator Xenophon told Fairfax Media.
The new bill could make it illegal for CS:GO developer Valve to solicit payments in exchange for items. Alternatively, there could be age and/or spending restrictions on games that feature in-game economies that encourage users to purchase skins and additional features.
CS:GO currently offers in-game purchases, and features a slot-like process in which players can earn either common inexpensive items, or rare expensive items. These items are then being used by players to bet on competitive eSports matches, a market that is estimated to be worth a staggering $US7.4 billion.
Valve was recently embroiled in a number of gambling controversies after it was discovered some streamers had been operating and running CS:GO gambling sites without disclosing the sites to their audience. Valve was also taken to court by a Florida mother, who claimed her son had lost a “significant” amount of money betting on these sites. The company has since issued a number of cease and desist letters to third-party gambling sites it says are contrary to its terms and conditions.