Controversy ignited by YouTubers failing to disclose their ownership of websites that they promoted

Valve issues ultimatum over use of Counter-Strike OpenID API for item gambling

Valve has issued a warning to websites that utilise the OpenID API of Counter-Strike: Go to facilitate item gambling, telling them to stop – or face further action.

Valve has to date remained silent about the gambling controversy that has surrounded both its team shooter and a number of YouTube stars. While both TmarTn and ProSyndicate have returned to their regular YouTube duties as if nothing has happened, the Steam owner has finally emphasised that it has no ties to these sites and is going to do all it can to cut them loose.

“In 2011, we added a feature to Steam that enabled users to trade in-game items as a way to make it easier for people to get the items they wanted in games featuring in-game economies,” Valve said.

“Since then a number of gambling sites started leveraging the Steam trading system, and there’s been some false assumptions about our involvement with these sites. We’d like to clarify that we have no business relationships with any of these sites. We have never received any revenue from them. And Steam does not have a system for turning in-game items into real world currency.

“These sites have basically pieced together their operations in a two-part fashion. First, they are using the OpenID API as a way for users to prove ownership of their Steam accounts and items. Any other information they obtain about a user’s Steam account is either manually disclosed by the user or obtained from the user’s Steam Community profile (when the user has chosen to make their profile public). Second, they create automated Steam accounts that make the same web calls as individual Steam users.

“Using the OpenID API and making the same web calls as Steam users to run a gambling business is not allowed by our API nor our user agreements. We are going to start sending notices to these sites requesting they cease operations through Steam, and further pursue the matter as necessary."

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