CSGOLounge, the industry leader in CSGO match betting, recently received a cease and desist letter from Valve which looked like this:
Since then the CSGOLounge team have been deciding how to proceed and have now released the statement below.
The statement highlights how CSGOLounge and DotA2Lounge will be seeking a license to legally operate as a betting company. This license will not be global and people in these countries will not be able to use Lounge: Belgium, France, French Guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Martinique, French Polynesia, Reunion, Mayotte, Turkey, Spain, Scotland, Israel, United Kingdom and United States.
Dear Community of [CSGL & D2L],
From the very beginning, the lounge service was intended as an entertainment service for the esports community of Dota2 and CS:GO, and we have never considered it as a real money betting. Virtual items in CS:GO and Dota2 have no monetary value and any community interaction with the virtual items is meant only for entertainment, without any profit interest.
We did not collect any commission or similar until June 2016, where we started doing it in order to improve our items drafting and quality of winnings, compensate items losses due to issues related to our product or issues with Steamcommunity trading, to enable giveaways for the community and add more features to our service in near future.
After all the recent events around virtual items and the official letter by Valve, which we have received as well, we were left out alone without any additional information or communication by Valve on this matter. We had to make a decision on how to proceed with Lounges as community place and entertainment service. The situation is highly confusing – we are not offering games of luck, we are not offering any transactions with real money or equivalents. Despite those facts, in order to avoid or reduce the confusion, we have decided to acquire a license to legally operate in most of the countries and be able to accept the esports bets by our community, as if it would be real money.
Starting from Monday, 1st August 2016, we will start limiting the access to the betting functionality for users visiting us from countries and regions, where online esports betting is forbidden. We will add additional registration and verification process and we require you to comply with our new Terms of Service if you want to keep using our service. We also remind that our service is only for users who are at least 18 years old.
We will be operating according to the new terms and any transactions related to the items betting functionality will be handled accordingly to the new terms of service, and only on the territories, which do not forbid it by law.
Users from the following countries and regions will not be able to use the betting feature, but still be able to withdraw their previous winnings and deposits: Belgium, France, French Guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Martinique, French Polynesia, Reunion, Mayotte, Turkey, Spain, Scotland, Israel, United Kingdom and United States.
The list of countries may be subject to change, we will keep you informed. We are working on a solution for users from affected regions to stay engaged on Lounge.
Please be alerted, that we don’t provide any guarantee to what will happen with your items after the 10 days deadline given by Valve.
We would like to thank everyone who was part of this awesome community through the last years, and we are looking to continue our journey with you and walk through the changes together. We have exciting ideas and features in our roadmap, and we will be happy to show case them to you in the very near future!
The community trading part of our website will continue to operate as usual, without any limitations, world wide. And we are planning to improve this service with new features soon.
On behalf of Borewik, founder of [CSGL & D2L] and the entire [L] Team