Online safety is incredibly important and the more complacent we are, the easier we fall for scams, particularly a gaming scam.
As we spend more time online year after year, scams are being more sophisticated and spreading faster. With the rising popularity of E-Sports, gamers have become the main target of these attacks.
Richard Lewis, who is a veteran in eSports journalism, talks about the various tricks used by case-opening sites.
It’s no wonder that gamers have become victims as they stay online longer than any other internet user.
Richard says that many players end up deceived by information about fake winners, biased win rates or heavily-favoured sponsors.
Most of the gamers know nothing about the basics of betting, which is exactly what bookies rely on when making an offer.
Betting Online on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
One of the games that got players involved in placing online bets is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The betting option became available in 2013 with the introduction of the weapons skins feature.
As gamers competed against each other at eSports events, viewers were able to tune in and wager on the matches.
However, at that time nobody knew that the gambling option was a part of a legal grey sector within the industry. Since there were no regulations regarding online betting activity, most of the participants turned out to be underage.
Despite that, all the wagers had real value. In the end, many players lost money, because of a rash decision.
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That is only one of the many examples, how people become victims of gaming scams. Getting involved in gambling just because it looks like a sure win is the biggest mistake you can make.
Don’t be too hasty, good gamblers always compare bookies offers before signing up, no matter how good a betting site and its promotions may look. Still, there is more to be taken into account than just being careful.
Gaming Operators Against the Tricks of Betting Sites
Placing a wager can be as rewarding as risky for everyone. But the real question is why are people so easily persuaded to take part in it?
According to game developers, the real issue is not the nature of the players, but the way gambling operators are exploiting it.
Valve is one of the gaming companies that experienced real issues in this area. The game developer is famous for creating the Steam Service and the Counter-Strike game.
As these products proved to be more than profitable, betting operators started using them to promote their services. The problem for the game developer is that the case-opening sites are sabotaging the business and damaging the image of the company.
CS players are tricked into using online betting operators to get better skin returns than offered by Valve.
Because of that, in July 2016 the gaming company demanded that the skin gambling sites leave. However, they stayed put and even now Valve must still contend with the operators using their platform.
In fact, Valve themselves have been subject to a lawsuit for illegal gambling over skins betting.
It was alleged that they profited handsomely for years from illegal online gambling, and has made only token efforts to stop it. Because while Valve doesn’t actually run any of these gambling sites, they do take a cut from each transaction.
What Is A Case Opening Site?
A case opening gaming site is a type of online platform connected to video games, most commonly seen in the context of the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).
These sites allow users to purchase and “open” virtual cases or loot boxes that contain a randomised selection of in-game items.
These items, which can be anything from weapon skins to character models, typically have varying degrees of rarity and value, with some items being quite common and others being extremely rare and valuable.
Here’s how it generally works:
- Players purchase virtual “cases” or “loot boxes” on the case opening site.
- They then “open” these cases, which triggers a random selection process.
- The player receives a digital item from the game, the value and usefulness of which can vary widely.
The concept is similar to the opening of physical trading card packs where you don’t know what you’re going to get until you open the pack.
These sites are ripe for a gaming scam and have been controversial due to the similarity between this practice and gambling.
Some jurisdictions have taken legal action against game companies for this reason, arguing that it constitutes unregulated gambling.
How Case Opening Sites Are Deceiving You
The truth is that learning more about the tricks and the schemes is the key to finding and avoiding the case-opening sites.
A couple of years ago, a coder for such operators, made shocking accusations (anonymously) about his former employers. He felt incapable of dealing with their tactics, which is why he left the case-opening sites’ business.
The source told Lewis that many of these operators set the chances of winning manually. Therefore the winnings of the gamblers can be predetermined.
Some of the case-opening websites use a mode which only rewards the players by giving them the two cheapest skins they could win.
The homepage of these operators might offer an expensive item to those who wager, but the winning probability is set to zero. In other words, the gamblers have no chance to gain anything.
Another trick used is the display feed titled ‘recently won‘. This makes people spend more time and money on internet gaming.
The fake information convinces players that the case-opening site offers more highly valued skins than other operators in the niche.
The anonymous informant said that he had to alter the content of the web pages about recent wins, by removing all the lower items. That is how you trick people into thinking that a certain operator is handing out premium items.
Using YouTube and Shipping Against You
Many case-opening sites use YouTube to promote their services. Of course, the content creators who provide sponsorship and advertising take part in the gaming scam.
They receive favourable win rates, which are determined by their status and by the value that the administrator finds appropriate.
Experts call that a ‘soak system‘. That is because the promoters set the value of skins and the winning percentages.
Sometimes there is even no limit in order to take more from the gamers. Some case-opening sites go as far as to scam their sponsor by setting them up for a win at a particular time.
A different way to play a dirty trick is the so-called ‘item stocking‘. Dishonest gambling sites use the tactic to delay players from receiving their winnings.
If an item payout takes 30 days or longer, it’s likely to be a scam. The legitimate period lasts between a week and a month.
The anonymous source mentioned that case-opening sites often lie by claiming that they can’t find the product in their history or that it has disappeared.
Gamers need to become more aware of the tricks used against them. But the responsibility doesn’t just lie with them.
Many of these gamers are kids playing at home and it’s parents who payout for the skins.
So parents, wise up, teach your kids that if something seems too good to be true, it’s probably a gaming scam.