Counter-Strike Skin Betting… Has It Gone Too Far?

So if you don’t know by now, Counter Strike: Global Offensive is one most-viewed games on the internet (outside of games like LoL and Dota) today. From famous YouTubers to big streamers, CS:GO appeals to may various types of e-sports viewers; but what is the big hype about this popular game and why do gamers, like myself, find themselves cashing out big in the game? This is where the “skins” come into play.

If you are sitting there asking yourself “what are skins?”, well in the next paragraph I shall explain what they are so everyone can grasp the aspect of them.

Several CS:GO Skins

Several CS:GO Skins

Skins: In-Game digital goods that can be open via “cases” with a key {normally costing £1.69 ($2.62)} which give the chance to either win a low-grade design/finish on a weapon, or you can hit big with a very rare, expensive skin that can be sold via steam market or via other means {PayPal and now some other websites where they process in-game payments for your skins}.

So having that out of the way… Why? What is the trend with having skins in your inventory? Bragging rights? Avid collector? Addiction?

So having a nice inventory, with a plethora of guns {ranging from  £1.00 ($1.55) to a staggering £200.00 ($309.72 )}, can leave you with feeling comfortable and with “fallback” money if you ever decide you need the extra cash or fancy buying yourself a new game. How do some of these people win big and at such a fast rate? Betting… You heard me correct – betting skins.

Betting kicked off very quickly within the community, people started betting their skins on teams via various sites {a quick google search can bring most of them up}. After placing the skins on the table, you can watch the teams compete live via streaming services; and if your chosen team wins, well easy…you win your skins back plus extra depending on the bet placed.

Even the younger gamers are able shirk gambling laws to bet their skins via these online sites. You would think there would be a downside to it all…well you are correct.

After trawling many streaming sites and watching games myself, I noticed that many people in the chat were not worried about the actual gameplay and were more eager to spam how much they had riding on that certain game. After the game finished, it was either people screaming they had won hundreds of pounds or either lost hundreds of pounds. This had me thinking: “Has gambling in-game items gone way out of hand? And who are the actual winners?”

Lucky for me I had the chance to speak to very well-known Youtube personality whos channel is based around CS:GO; and also happens to be a “skin” collector. This Youtuber has asked me to leave out his personal details as he feels that it could bring bad karma and a lot of hate to his channel. Below is what I asked and his responses. Enjoy.

IncrediBeard: Thank you for taking time out of your day to answer my questions but i’ll get straight into it. So being a YouTuber, and a CS:GO content provider, how do you feel skins have made an impact on your channel?

Youtuber: It’s great in some aspects. Like when I do a case unboxing whilst recording and get one or two knives, I know for a fact that the video is going to be hyped up for good and bad reasons of course.

IncrediBeard: Good and bad reasons? Would you care to expand on that?

Youtuber: Of course. With having a case unboxing you will always get the loyal subscribers saying congrats and great stuff but then you will always get people saying ‘he is a big YouTuber it’s all fixed’ or ‘bet he spent thousands of dollars before he opened it’ or my favourite ‘get a real job’. People can either be batting on one side..either they are really happy and enjoy watching the video or some can really be butthurt and go all crazy with their comments… Sometimes even spamming half my page with nasty comments.

IncrediBeard: So onto betting. What would your stance be on that – Good? Bad? A healthy way of making extra money?

Youtuber: Moderation…it’s all moderation. If you don’t have the skins to bet…don’t bet at all. Simple. One thing that does anger me slightly is that there are many websites popping up left right and centre where you can gamble skins and also the fact many streamers have purely made their channels a ‘casting’ channel where people can watch the games they have, put bets on, and they are scoring big from those viewers. In other words gambling + viewers hit their channel = partnership = money. There is no content, just people talking about the game. Sometimes it feels like we {the other CS:GO creators} have to compete against these channels and then gamble ourselves to make ends meet….it’s like a catch 22 feeling.

Unfortunately the interview had to come to a close due to their internet connection cutting out. However, from what I learned in the last part of the interview, I was surprised at how some streamers can make money not from betting, but just from the viewers.

All and all, I am on the bench with this one and feel like I need to dive deeper into the gambling world of CS:GO. I have set myself a challenge by putting £50.00 {$77.46} into CS:GO skins and seeing after one solid month if I make profit or go bust. I will catalog my findings then continue my blog about my experience.

One thing I can say is that if you do gamble do it in moderation. Like any other gambling i.e. blackjack, poker. Know your limit.

Well I’m finished on the matter for now but I’m sure I’ll be touching on this topic again very soon.

Catch you on the flip side folks,


Image source

Showing 7 comments
  • LoLGamerGal007

    Great topic but wurz tha meat and potatoes yo? Lame! How big iz da betting scene? Show me an infographic! I wana c detailz and history not an interview with an unkn0wn. Nerdz luv infographics! Hire me, I will write for ya!

  • Kisner

    I wouldn’t say it’s gone too far…if anything, it’s keeping a dying game somewhat interesting.

    • Rooolint

      How is it a dying game? It’s almost on par with Dota 2 now in the West in terms of players, and it’s continuing to grow fast.

  • Beardy

    I would have to disagree with you there Kisner. Counter strike has a massive following just for the gameplay. It has only gained extra viewership due to the gambleing side of it. Counter strike in gen will always be very popular even without skins. Even way before buying/selling skins it was a very sucessful game from pros starting in the mod version to playing compet in 1.6 then moving onto CS:GO.

    • TheFrex

      I also have to disagree with you kisner.

      Gambling leads to behavioral patterns that can quickly lead to certain stems of the community- if not a large chunk of the community to get toxic. Especially when we start talking about professional events. No one stops to think about the players and how the backlash of losing affects them from the gambling community itself – IE: trash talking the team, and just overall unneeded asshat-ery that comes from people being unable to manage their addictions and take out their anger (from losses) on the team.

      here’s a great video. – C9 cs:go member commenting on the topic.

      • Kisner

        Trash-talking teams is present whether there is gambling involved or not…even winning teams are trash-talked, it’s just part of the internet culture. Sure, people gambling might do it, but CS has always had the most toxic community for as long as I can remember (until league passed it to take the #1 toxic spot).

        Competition in general brings toxicity…it’s the same with sports without even mentioning gambling.

  • ObnoxiousCamels

    CSGO is only toxic for 2 reasons you are toxic first or you play some low ranked kid that thinks its COD. I have played a while now and not come across that much toxic behaviour, its a competative game people will be upset losing a game or not been as good as the best thats competative gaming across all platforms.

    as for the gambling side of gaming it has got out of hand 50% of the csgo streams on twich are gambling, when you watch a pro match people only speak of the skins they have lost and not the performance of the players or the way big players stepped up to the mark to win clutchs, rounds ecos etc people are only in it for the skins. this also brings scammers to the screen which makes the so called ‘toxic community’.

    Treat those the way you want to be treated and the toxic will go.

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