Is Steam Going the Real Money Gambling Way?

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Gaming and gambling are arguably some of the most controversial issues in a number of different jurisdictions across the planet. Already, a number of governments and regulatory authorities have stepped in to examine the relationship between loot boxes in video games and gambling. Well, renowned video game store, Steam seems to be taking a totally different approach when it comes to gambling.

Initially spotted by a Reddit user who goes by the name TarOfficial, Steam has in its vast library of games a title referred to as x2Roulette – this game will effectively give Steam users the opportunity to gamble with real-world money on a casino-style roulette. The players will also be able to sell the potential winnings on the platform’s marketplace for credit.

What It’s All About

Fortunately, Steam has provided a very useful trailer on the game’s store page which makes it quite easy to figure out what it is all about. Basically, players who will play x2Roulette will be able to spend real money via in-game transactions to get the game’s versions of credits which will be referred to as “X2P”. The X2P purchased by the players will then be wagered on a simple game of casino-style roulette after which the result may be either a loss or more credits depending on how you play or how lucky you are.

As it turns out, players can spend 1000 X2P to create a “1000 X2P Bundle” which is now of the Steam Inventory items that can be redeemed in-game for 1000 X2P – just all other items in the inventor, this bundle can be traded to other players for Steam Credit on the platform’s marketplace. Now, that sounds suspiciously like gambling, doesn’t it? Almost just as much as the loot box controversy.

The Implications

There are certainly a lot of potential issues here. First off, it can be argued that x2Roulette is a form of unregulated gambling since real money goes to the developers while the players play a game that is based on an invisible algorithm with the possibility of the winnings being converted to sellable digital goods. Even in the case that the winnings are as accurate as advertised, the developer of the game still suffers minimal risk of loss due to the digital nature of the transactions. So, unlike regulated casinos which have to pay players for the chips they win, x2Roulette doesn’t buy credits back from players, others players do. As such, the developer of the game can reap all the benefits of players buying-in without having to risk having to buy back the credits they have won.

Secondly, there is a possibility that the game may be used as an easy avenue for credit card fraud and money laundering. This will include such scenarios as the use of illegitimately obtained funds in purchasing X2P bundles which are then immediately sold for Steam credit on the Steam Marketplace. These credits can be used to get gift purchases that can be sold on shady websites for real money.

X2Roulett is yet to be released perhaps because it is yet to completely through Valve’s review process but all things considered it might just be the dawn of a new era. We’ll just have to wait and see. It will not be long now.