After cracking down on Counter Strike: Global Offensive gambling accounts last year, Valve has now started targeting more gambling websites based around its multiplayer shooter Team Fortress 2.
In a statement released on the Team Fortress website, the company wrote: "In July of last year we outlined our position on gambling web sites, specifically noting that Valve has no business relationship with these sites. At that time we also began blocking many CSGO gambling accounts.
"More recently, some gambling web sites started leveraging TF2 items. Today we began the process of blocking TF2 gambling accounts as well. We recommend you don’t trade with these sites."
Earlier this month, it was reported by EPSN that around $5bn was made from in-game CSGO gambling, with 40 per cent of those bets being on eSports matches. $3bn, meanwhile, was allegedly made from bets placed on gambling games such as slots and roulette which used in-game character skins as currency.
The CSGO gambling controversy first began last spring when Bloomberg reported on a huge number of gambling sites linked to CSGO. In June, a number of YouTubers were found to be involved in the scandal as well, with YouTubers TmarTn and Syndicate having promoted a skins gambling site they owned through their own channels. Twitch then banned the streaming of any gambling and Valve issued cease and desist orders to the CSGO gambling sites.
The Washington State Gambling Commission also became involved, threatening legal action against Valve unless the company stopped the gambling being carried out through its services. At the time, Valve refused to take action and maintained that it was doing nothing wrong. However, the company has since begun the process of blocking these gambling sites from using its Steam trading data as well as many CSGO gambling accounts.