Valve bans CSGO traders with over $2 million in skins linked to gambling sites
In a ban wave, approximately 40 CS:GO trader accounts have been hit with community bans on Steam, resulting in millions of dollars worth of items being potentially lost forever.
CS:GO skin trading is a common and often lucrative business, and a livelihood for some particularly successful traders. However, it is not without its risks, given at any time, Valve can ban the trader’s account without warning or recourse.
In 2023, traders who deal with gambling sites have been targeted by Valve. In May, a number of traders who had dealt with gambling sites were banned.
On June 28, at least forty high-value accounts belonging to traders have been community banned. Although not confirmed, it is speculated their ban is related to dealing with CSGO Roll, one of the best-known skin gambling platforms. The site partnered with G2 earlier in 2023.
CS:GO trader ban wave hits millions in skins
On June 28, rival gambling site CS:GO Empire shared a document of CS:GO traders who they allege have been engaged in a scheme to “illegally launder” crypto through the rival site.
While this cannot be verified by Dexerto, later on June 28, the vast majority of the accounts named in the list were community banned on Steam.
Dexerto has confirmed this through CS:GO Float, a database that tracks all skins in the game. Only one account on the list does not appear to be banned at the time of writing.
Based on the cumulative values of these accounts at the time of the bans, at least $2 million in skins, stickers, knives, gloves and other items have been lost in a potentially irreversible fashion. A community ban prevents the user from trading, effectively making the items worthless.
CSGORoll vs CS:GO Empire
It should be noted that CS:GO Empire and CSGORoll have been engaged in a public feud in recent months, with the two websites frequently butting heads on social media.
It’s also important to note that skin trading itself is not bannable – or at least, Valve does not take action against it – but it has long been thought that dealing with gambling sites was in breach of the Steam Subscriber Agreement and Code of Conduct.
On May 11, Steam updated its Code of Conduct to explicitly mention gambling as one of the prohibited ways of using a Steam account.
However, allegations from CS:GO Empire against CSGORoll are somewhat more sinister. They allege that the traders were in a secret “Supplier program” that “allows select suppliers to withdraw their on-site balance as cryptocurrency.” They also claim that the traders were under NDA not to disclose this.
“CSGORoll advertises itself as a marketplace without crypto cashouts and it operates in the United States,” Warren from CS:GO Empire said. “In reality, crypto withdrawals are enabled, money is laundered through [Owner] Killian’s holding company, and traders involved keep quiet to keep their millions flowing.”
Following the bans, the CSGORoll owner responded, saying “Things have gotten too far.”
“16 people who support themselves financially from trading skins on my and other platforms, who are well known in the community as trustworthy traders, have been banned for a total cost of $2m in skins, because they have been falsely accused of money laundering with no evidence by this bitter individual,” his post stated.
In response to the allegation, he said, “I own a gamified skins trading platform, by law, this is not classified as a casino in our largest markets because we do not offer cash withdrawals.
“Contracted skins suppliers are not allowed to play games on the platform, thus we can legally pay them crypto for their skins to always ensure that we have a liquid marketplace. This was all checked by lawyers years ago, and we keep ourselves up to date on modern regulations to always make sure that we are compliant with the law.”
On May 18, CSGORoll was banned from operating in Australia, after breaching the country’s gambling regulations.
In May, when an initial ban wave hit some CSGO traders, CS:GO Empire refuted claims that it was due to trading with their site. Instead, they argued that these traders had used various websites to send and receive items – not just them.
Dexerto has reached out to banned traders and CSGORoll for comment.