Casino operator Quinault Tribal Nation has filed a lawsuit against Valve for “unethical, oppressive, and unscrupulous business conduct”.
As reported by Geekwire (thanks, GI.biz), the filing accuses the developer of “subject[ing] Washington citizens to scam, unsafe and unfair gambling” of the Counter Strike: Global Offensive skins despite not having a license to operate gambling in the state of Washington. As it takes a 15 per cent cut of all CS:GO trades through the Steam Marketplace, the plaintiff argues the company is a direct beneficiary of these sales.
The Quinault Tribal Nation, which runs Quinault Beach Resort & Casino in Ocean Shores, Washington, says: “Valve is well aware of the skins gambling that goes on, is well aware that skins have real-world cash value, which has increased their popularity and value, and actively encourages and facilitates skins gambling.”
The plaintiff has lodged four complaints against Valve: Violation of the consumer protection act, tortious interference with contract, negligence, and declaratory relief. It seeks damages, the restitution of “all monies wrongfully obtained by Valve”, and a cease and desist against the developer to halt its alleged illegal gambling.
The Quinault Tribal Nation also takes umbrage it has to display the odds of its slot machines to users whilst Valve is not required to do so for loot boxes, even though – the plaintiff states – they’re similar activities.
“Valve has profited handsomely for years from illegal online gambling and has made only token efforts to stop it.
“As a licensed operator of gambling facilities in Washington, the Nation must incur costs, expenses, and effort to ensure strict compliance with all gambing laws and regulations,” the filing adds. “Neither Valve nor internet gambling sites using Valve’s virtual items abide by those gaming laws and regulations and consumers and the National have been harmed as a result.”
Quinault v. Valve by on Scribd