Earlier this month, the Washington State Gambling Commission ordered Valve to “stop facilitating gambling” and “immediately stop allowing the transfer of virtual weapons known as ‘skins’ for gambling activities through” Steam, threatening the gaming giant with “civil or criminal action” if it did not “respond and explain how it is in full compliance with Washington’s gambling laws.”
Valve has indeed responded, though it apparently missed the deadline yesterday. The company once again says that it is “not engaged in gambling or the promotion of gambling” and does “not ‘facilitate’ gambling.” While admitting “gambling propositions” do occur, Valve claims nothing it does is illegal in the state of Washington, and it has no desire or plan to “turn off lawful commercial and communication services,” particular when it claims it’s issued cease and desist letters to several dozen gambling sites already.
In its letter to the commission, Valve attorney Liam Lavery writes,
“Valve has no business relationship with such gambling sites, and indeed they can come into existence, operate, and go out of existence without Valve’s knowledge. […] Valve does not promote or encourage Steam customers to use such gambling sites. Valve does not receive revenue from these sites. […] The Commission’s letter publicly threatens Valve with criminal prosecution for gambling on third party sites. We do not understand the legal or factual reasoning supporting this position. […] If there is a specific criminal statute or regulation you believe Valve is violating, please provide a citation.”
Yeah, Valve “citation needed” the gambling commission.