Regulator bans gambling site for CS:GO video game items
A website letting punters gamble at virtual casinos using items from a popular video game has been banned in Australia by the media watchdog.
Online gaming company Feral Holdings Limited - and its CS:GO Roll website - allowed people to use 'skins' from Counter Strike: Global Offensive as currency, which can then be on-sold for money.
Skins are aesthetic items players can use to alter their appearance while playing the game which can be worth considerable amounts of money depending on how rare they are.
Reports suggest one gun skin was sold for nearly $600,000 last month, probably a record price for any single video game weapon.
Casino games are banned online in Australia if users are playing for money or anything of value.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued Feral Holdings a formal warning and shut down its site, citing a particular concern around using skins to attract a younger demographic to casino gambling.
The authority's chair Nerida O'Loughlin said it was vital gambling sites follow Australian laws or risk being shut down.
"Providing casino-style games online is prohibited in Australia when playing for money or something of value, whether that's Australian dollars, cryptocurrency or in this case, online gaming skins," she said.
"Skins gambling services are particularly concerning as they tap into a youth market and have the potential to convert gamers into gamblers."