Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a multiplayer video game developed by Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve Corporation. It is available for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, OS X, and PlayStation 3. The game involves two teams fighting against each other: the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists. The objective of both sides is to eliminate each other while also completing other objectives. Depending on the game mode, the terrorists must either defend the hostages or plant the bomb, while the Counter-Terrorists have to rescue the hostages or prevent the bomb from being planted.

Skin trading involves the buying and selling of virtual in-game items (skins) that can be acquired in the video game and sold for real money for betting on certain platforms. The top NZ online casino list reviewed by experts as the best online casinos are very popular for conducting skin gambling.

This practice was initiated by Valve (video game developer) in its game Counter Strike Global Offensive (CS: GO). The decision of Valve to allow third-party betting sites and online casinos access to steam Application Programming Interface (API) has caused a lot of controversies as it is considered illegal gambling. Skin Gambling is continuously growing ever since its introduction. Steam accounts and skins are linked to these betting sites, which features a wide range of games like roulette, lotteries, and blackjack, where skins are bet like chips just like in land-based casinos. Winning players can bet over and over again with the skins they won or trade them for real money on Valve’s Steam marketplace, where Valve charges a 15% transaction fee.

Although a majority of the people especially video game players practice skin Gambling, it is termed illegal for so many reasons. Skins are not considered a ‘thing of value’ and so Skin Gambling cannot be declared as an online gambling. The fact that it is unlicensed, unregulated, and not age restricted has also brought its legality into question. There were also cases of match fixing. The people involved were banned by Valve Corporation.  Many countries have adopted different measures to stop this practice. Valve Corporation has been ordered on several occasions by the Washington State Gambling Commission to stop allowing the use of virtual items (skins) obtained from CS: GO for gambling. A lawsuit was filed against Valve Corporation, the owner of Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), but the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington kicked the case out of the court. They decided that it was proper for the case to proceed to arbitration.