Valve on WSGC’s Cease-and-Desist Notice: “There is No Factional or Legal Support for these Accusations”
Approximately two weeks after the Washington State Gambling Commission delivered a legal action notice to Valve Corporation, Valve has responded with a letter of their own, claiming that the notice has no legal support behind it.
The response, penned by Valve’s lawyer Liam Lavery, was acquired by TechRaptor and posted to their website in an article written by Robert Grosso. It rejects the allegations made by the WSGC, insisting that Valve does not facilitate nor promote gambling.
“We were surprised and disappointed that the Commission chose to publicly accuse Valve of illegal activity and threaten our employees with criminal charges,” said Valve, “Notwithstanding, as you know Valve has already taken its own steps to discourage skins gambling on third party websites.”
Earlier this year, Valve issued a series of their own cease-and-desist notices to websites that use their API to support gambling, most commonly through Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 skins as bets. These letters were sent to several online entities, including CSGO Lounge and CSGO Lotto, and threatened to take legal action against those who did not cease operations within ten days of receiving the notice. Most sites were shuttered within forty-eight hours of receiving the notice. CSGO Lounge managed to circumvent legal action by changing their betting system to coin-based, and sites such as Unikrn were unaffected by the notice due to being based in a location that has legalized gambling.
“We do not understand the legal or factual reasoning supporting this position, from the Commission’s letter or from our conversations with the Commission,” Valve continued, “We are also unsure of how you propose we do this. If there is a specific criminal statute or regulation you believe Valve is violating, please provide a citation.”
Valve went on to provide examples of how they already combat potential gambling with their assets, including the above-mentioned cease-and-desist orders, and insisted that the Washington State Gambling Commission does not have the authority to turn off, “Lawful commercial and communication services that are not directed to gambling in Washington,” in reference to their OpenID system and their skins.
The letter closed with clarification that the corporation would be willing to work alongside the Commission to shut down any gambling that continues to operate with Steam assets, but they will not recognize legal threats that they feel have no basis.
A certified weeb that passionately live-Tweets his reactions from esports events, Sian is one of those people that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks. You can find him on Twitter @FriendlySenpai