“Skin-betting” or virtual goods gambling has recently received first ever license coverage. This license was acquired by ESP.bet, the operator of eSportsPools, a specialist betting site and fantasy esports league. The license was presented to ESP.bet by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC).
What is Skin-betting?
So, what do we mean when we refer to skin-betting? Skin-betting is the weapons that have been virtually designed. Each weapon has a different degree of rarity in the “Counter Strike: Global Offensive” (CS:GO) video game. These weapons are said to behave as their very own in-game currency.
Since the skins can be transferred between third-party websites, as well as alternative video game items similar to them, it can now be assigned, what is known as “real-world” value as well. According to 2016 records, this unstructured sector of the gambling industry is rumoured to be worth over AU$5 billion. Such a spectacular amount of money by simply trading virtual items.
PokerStars, considered to be a giant in the online gambling sphere, is regulated by the jurisdiction of the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man GSC announced in February that updates in their regulations have been made to respond to the ever-changing technological landscape. They further explain that these regulation updates will provide some surveillance over what is considered to be an unlegislated industry. The freshly imposed regulations permit licensees, such as ESP.bet, to also accept digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
What Does Skin-betting Mean for the Future of Online Gaming?
According to the regulator of operations, it will now be possible to register an account with an Isle of Man gambling operator by using anything that has monetary value.
The CEO of ESP.bet, Scott Burton, has expressed how esports have always been considered a grey area when it comes to virtual gambling, with many trying to protect their clients but to unfortunately to no avail. However, he further claims that ESP.bet have taken the “knowing your customer” approach far more seriously to ensure that, through age verifications, a clear gaming system has been put in place.
Burton remarks that this license will assist in the building of a structured marketplace where investors, businesses and customers will feel safe.