In early 2016, Counter-Strike:Global Offensive was becoming more and more popular mainly because of the CS:GO skin gambling, buying, trading, and betting. A lot of people were creating inventories filled with luxury knives and other weapon skins, and they were always coming to play the game mainly because they invested a lot of money into it.
However, not everyone acquired expensive inventories by purchasing skins, a lot of people earned their first knife by gambling on numerous different websites.
In late 2016, Valve started sending out cease and desist letters to all of the popular skin gambling websites, and this was the downfall of skin gambling industry.
However, in mid-2017, many moved to other types of skin betting sites like the ones where you can trade in a cryptocurrency called Skincoin, or CSGO gambling sites where you are required to do all sorts of skin gaming tasks to acquire skins for CSGO.
So, despite the projected downfall, the industry started to recover in the years that followed and is still going strong to this very day.
HOW HUGE WAS THIS MARKET?
Some reports say that CS:GO skin gambling related to esports was worth over $5 billion dollars in 2016. This is a ridiculous amount of money for a market based on virtual skins.
Ever since skin gamblers had a chance to turn their skins into real money, they started playing more and more. Websites like bitskins.com and opskins.com were blooming, and they were stacked with skins 24/7.
Sometimes, Valve would ban a couple of bots on certain gambling websites, thinking that they could seize their operations if they lose money, but that never stopped anyone. You can only imagine how much money they earned that they had no problem if their bot gets banned with over $300,000 worth of skins on it.
However, things have cooled down as of late, mainly because trade ban for each skin has been introduced. Basically, if you trade a certain skin you will get a 14 days trade ban on that same skin, and you will not be able to trade it for that period of time.
Skin gambling websites were earning so much money that they decided to sponsor different Esports teams and organization. For instance, Hellraisers were sponsored by csgopolygon.com. On the other hand, hellcase.com was one of the biggest sponsors of StarSeries i-League, and they even added drops to the live stream. They tried to create a similar atmosphere to the Major with those skin drops.
Due to bans and controversies, the skins betting industry began to decline in 2017, but this was not the end by any means. Players continue to bet on skins to this day, without much trouble.
It was first thought that the industry would fall apart, but in reality, it just continued to grow, albeit at a slower rate. At first, the predictions were that it would be worth more than $20 billion, but it is now estimated that the CS:GO skin betting industry is worth $13 billion in 2020.
This is still significantly higher than the $5 billion back in 2016, which certainly shows a lot of promise that the industry will continue to grow despite the many controversies and problems.
NOT ALL OF THESE WEBSITES SEIZED THEIR OPERATIONS
One of the most popular gambling websites is definitely CSGOFAST.com. They have been live ever since skin gambling was introduced to the scene. However, ever since trade bans were put in place, their business has been very bad. So they followed other popular websites and decided to offer real-money gambling.
So yes, there are a lot of operational websites that used to offer CS:GO skins gambling, but almost all of them have switched sides and now they are offering real money wagers.
TYPES OF CS:GO SKIN GAMBLING
CSGO skin betting is not as simple as some believe it to be, and one thing that proves this is the size of this industry. However, more importantly, the answer lies in the many types of CS:GO skin gambling that exist.
In the following sections, we’ll talk about methods like Counter-Strike; Global Offensive skin jackpot, CSGO match betting, Counter-Strike roulette, and many others. Keep reading to learn all about them.
COUNTR STRIKE: GLOBAL OFFENSIVE SKIN JACKPOT
Almost all of the skin gambling websites had skin jackpot put in place. You are probably wondering how did they earn so much money if they only provided jackpot and other players competed in it. Well, they would take 5% minimum commision, some of the websites even 10-15%. The math is simple if there is a $1000 pot and the commision is 10%, that is $100 every 60 seconds or so. Now you can imagine how much money there were able to earn.
CS:GO SKIN BETTING
Another very popular skin gambling method was betting on Esports events and in particular CS:GO match betting. A lot of websites started adding this section of gambling, simply because people were enjoying betting on numerous Esports events. Needless to say that viewership was insane in every single tournament.
Best CSGO Skin Gambling Sites
There are plenty of sites where you can bet on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skins, but not every one of those is the best CS GO gambling site. Only a couple of them can be considered as the best in the business, and we wanted to share the ones we believe to be the best for all players:
How to Bet on CSGO skins?
If you are one of those players who are new to the world of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skin betting, you are probably quite confused with how this type of betting works.
It’s actually quite simple. There are plenty of third-party betting sites where you can gamble your skins on CS GO tournaments and matches. You only need to use the software tools offered on the site, which are always extremely simple to figure out. The software of the site is the mediator that will take away your skin if you lose the bet, or award you with one if you win. It’s essentially the same as any other form of betting, so you don’t have to worry about the actual controls, only about finding a great CSGO betting site.
As the time passed by, everyone got fed up with skin jackpot and similar games. So a new idea was needed to attract more and more players, new and old ones. The crash game was introduced to almost all of the gambling sites. And it was a big hit. The game itself was very simple, the bar would start at 1.00, and the longer you stay in the game before withdrawing the more you can win. The trick is to hit the collect button before the bar crashes, and everyone who did not collect their money would lose their initial bet. This was a very interesting and tense game mode, but its downside was that the game can crash at 1.00 and everyone can lose their money before the game even started.
COUNTER STRIKE ROULETTE
This is probably the most popular gambling game in the entire world. A simple jackpot with red, black and green. However, there were alternations on various sites, where they introduced x2, x5, x10, x100 lines. Not much else to say about this game, very simple and easy to understand.
CS:GO CASE OPENING WEBSITES
Just like crash game mode, case opening became very popular after players got bored of old games. Someone did the calculation and it turned out that Valve was earning a lot of money on case opening(the official one). There was only 0.20% chance to get a covert skin(red), while websites like hellcase.com, farmskins.com, and many others offered a much higher chance of winning a rare skin.
However, the official case opening was also banned in numerous countries around the world.
CS:GO SKIN TRADING SITES
Even though this is not considered as a gambling method, most of these sites got their bots banned as well. If we take csgojar.com as an example. Their bots got banned with inventories worth around $250,000. To be honest, they were not offering anything illegal, it was a simple procedure of skin trade. If you do not enjoy your skins anymore you can trade them on this website for another one. Of course, the price of selling was way lower, and the price you were paying was a bit higher but still, this was a fair and square deal. I personally used this website a lot, and I never had any problems with it. But, they were tampering with Valve’s profits and they had to go.
How Did CS:GO Skin Gambling Start?
The first skin gambling website was csgolounge.com. Once this website was launched, it was mostly considered as a trading post where people could trade skins between themselves without any fees. However, after some time, they introduced the first skin betting platform related to Esports. All of the matches were based on a percentage wins, so there was no way that website will lose money. The more money you place, the more will the percentage drop. Very easy to understand and yet a perfect way to earn money without any risk.
Csgolounge.com is the first website that got cease and desist letter from Valve, and ever since they stayed out of the business.
This skin gambling website has been a go-to place for a lot of high rollers. Most of the popular skin gambling YouTubers played on it, and their pots were insane. At their peak, their average daily pot was well above $600. You can imagine how much money owners of this website made.
You can also find a lot of videos on YouTube were people won crazy amounts of money with a very low chance of winning. Overall, csgofast.com started off with skin jackpot, but after a while, they had a big variety of games to play on. They have also introduced skin betting to their website, followed by slots, case opening, crash, hi-lo, and many others.
To conclude, csgofast was one of the most popular skin gambling providers, and after the series of cease and desist letter, bot bans, and other trading restrictions their traffic is lower than ever. But still, they are average around 3000-4000 unique players every day, even though they switched to gambling with real money.
Another very popular website that had over 7000 unique visitors per day back in 2016. They were the first website who introduced a different method of roulette to the skins gambling industry. Instead of ordinary, black, red and green roulette, csgo500 decided to introduce something that is more rewarding to their players. Black(x2), red(x3, blue(x5), gold(x50).
Ever since it was released players were swarming to play there, and to be honest, it was not that easy to win there, simply because there were a lot more options to bet on, and logically you had bigger chance to lose. Just like csgofast, this website was one of the first ones on the Valve’s list, and their bots were banned all the time.
However, after trade bans and limits, they decided to switch to the VGO, cryptocurrencies and other Dota 2, H1Z1 skins, but you can still deposit Counter-Strike:Global Offensive skins. Furthermore, most of their business is now made through BitCoin deposits and withdrawals.
Probably all of you know what happened with csgolotto. For you who are not that familiar with it here is the quick breakdown. This skin gambling website was owned by two YouTubers, Trevor “Tmartn” Martin, and Tom “Syndicate” Cassel. They were both promoting it on their YouTube channels without ever disclosing the part that they are running this gambling website. And we are not talking about small YouTubers. They even played on the site, and they were winning crazy amounts of money, and you can guess why. Because they rigged the system in their favor.
Ever since that information became known to the public and to the CS:GO community, csgolotto closed and never opened again. But they still made an insane amount of money, as they attracted all of the popular skin gambling YouTubers, and their pots averaged around $800 per day.
Another scandal related to skin gambling. The most popular twitch streamer at that time, James “PhantomL0rd” Varga was primarily a gambler on twitch. He barely played any games on twitch, and he was attracting over 50,000 concurrent viewers. He was always doing crazy giveaways, giving back to the community, and most of his YouTube videos are based around him giving away luxury knives to the underaged kids. You can only imagine how it must feel when a 15-year-old kid gets a $2000 knife for free.
However, everything was not so perfect for James. Most of the time he spent streaming, he was gambling on csgoshuffle.com. But at one point, his skype was hacked and hackers got his chat logs. That chat was between him and his developer of csgoshuffle. It can be clearly seen from the messages that he was adjusting odds so he can win. It backfired massively on him and he had to flee the country. No one heard from him for a long time, and he recently came back to streaming. Furthermore, he can not stream on twitch anymore, and now he is streaming himself PLAYING video games on YouTube. And guess what, he is averaging 100 viewers per day.
If all of this weren’t enough, for the past two years, James and Twitch have been in a lawsuit limbo. Varga wanted $35m in damages for the fact that Twitch banned him, while Twitch argued that the damages should be capped at $50,000. The trial is set to begin in October 2020, and hopefully, it will be resolved soon after. As for the site csgoshuffle.com, it’s no longer in operation.
Of course, csgoshuffle seized its operations and it never reopened again.
This is an interesting video on PhantomL0rd and his csgoshuffle adventures.
After csgolounge.com stopped offering betting content someone had to step up and take their players away from them. Drakelounge was a part of “drake” series of gambling websites. They were operating with numerous different websites, mostly based on roulette, case opening, and their latest addition drakelounge.
What players mostly enjoyed is odds betting. No more percentage bets where you would see your winning potential shrink everytime someone places a big bet. Alongside decimal odds, they were one of the first skin gambling websites that offered 24/7 live support. They were never involved in any scandals and they were always rewarding their players and community overall.
Even though skin gambling is not as viable as it was in the past, this website is still going strong, as they switched to the direct skin deposit through opskins.com, gift cards, and BitCoin deposits.
To conclude, in my personal opinion this was the best skin betting website on the entire scene.
This is not mainly a skin gambling website. They offered exactly the same thing as Valve itself offered. They publicly stated that they are offering much higher odds to win more expensive and luxury items than Valve is.
This is the main reason for their popularity. But they have taken this one step further. They invested a lot of money into hosting numerous smaller tournaments where lower tiered teams could compete and prove themselves on the scene. However, they did not stop here, they are the main sponsor of StarSeries i-League, and that says a lot about owners of this website.
At the moment, they are still alive, and they are doing okay. They were always around 2000-3000 unique visitors per day, and that number did not get any smaller despite recent events and restrictions.
Last but not least, cs.money is a trading platform, but the second party is the website itself. So technically you can not call this a skin gambling website because there is no game of chance attached to it.
I feel sorry for cs.money, because their bots were banned on regular basis, and they did nothing wrong. Yes, their values were higher once compared to other websites like opskins and bitskins, but still, people could use this website to exchange their old skins to get new ones.
No one ever had any problems with websites like this, and it feels like they are treated unfairly. But to this day, they are still offering quality skins. And also, some of the rarest skins can be found on their bots. For instance, while I was writing this they had one of the most unique skins on one of their bots. Souvenir Factory New Dragon Lore with a JW sticker. They are selling it for a whopping price of $27,000.
How do you feel about scandals related to some of these skin gambling websites? Also, do you justify CS:GO content creators on YouTube sponsoring some of these shady gambling websites? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.
The biggest problems that skin gambling occurred was underaged gambling. There was no way of stopping kids from taking part in the gambling scene. The only way to limit them from visiting these types of websites was not efficient. The only thing they could do is add a box to confirm that you are 18 or older, which is totally stupid, and it does nothing. But still, on the legal sides of things, they did the correct thing.
Furthermore, skin gambling really ignited the community, and it was growing rapidly. But the money they were acquiring from these websites and the amount of scamming that was flooding around the game and its community was unreal, so I understand why this had to be done by Valve.
However, this is not the end of skin gambling. Not only that there are websites still going strong, but there are also numerous lawsuits filed against many of these sites, mostly related to the underaged gambling.
Stay tuned for the second part of this article, where we will talk about the most popular skin gambling websites out there. If you are interesting in CSGO betting and learning more about it head over to our CSGO Betting for the best advice and tips.
What do you think, did Valve to a good thing with cease and desist letters? How do you think CS:GO scene and community would look like if skin gambling was still a thing? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.