Nick Xenophon Wants 1st Person Shooter to be Considered Gambling
The Aussie gambling scene is always surprising us, and in what would be the world’s first, an Aussie politician, Senator Nick Xenophon, is seeking a legislation. The senator who is known for his anti-gambling views, seeks popular 1st first shooter games like Counter strike to be considered gambling, in the eyes of the law.
The South Australia’s independent senator has made an announcement that he aims to have multiplayer 1st person shooter games, like Counter Strike, to be defined as gambling. He aims for this to be a part of the IGA Gambling Act updates and reform. Counter Strike Global Offensive, also known as CS:GO, is one of the most successful 1st person shooter games in the world. It has introduced the Arm Deal update back in August of 2013, in which it allows the virtual weapons, also known as skins that can be obtained in the game, to be turned and sold for real cash. Each of the weapons is assigned a value, that depends on how rare they are, but they can reach thousands of dollars. They can be sold from the marketplace of the developer, or a 3rd party websites.
These skins can also be used as casino chips to be used in online casino games like roulette and blackjack. According to reports and statistics, during June, skin gambling witnessed a yearly turnover of 9.74 billion dollars. It is forecasted that this market is only going to keep growing in a steady pace. The skins gambling activity is widespread among gamers, including the young ones, which sparks a lot of concern among the game academics and developers. In one instance, a teenager from Brisbane stated that he lost more than $1800 by gambling on skins, after he has stolen the credit card that belonged to his father. He stated that he was inspired by all of the top players that post videos of their amazing wins on YouTube, as well as Twitch, the video game platform.
Sally Gainsbury, who is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Gambling at the Southern Cross University, has stated that the prevalence of gambling on skins amongst players is very hard to keep track of. She added that the laws need to be updated, that is for sure, but the general classifying of video games to be treated as gambling activity is going to be quite problematic especially that most of them would not fall under such category.
In response to all of that, the COO of Valve Corporation, Erik Johnson, has stated that the company does not have any business relation with these sites, and that they have not received any real money revenue from them. He added that the marketplace of the game does not have any system for turning these skins into real money.