Online gaming company Feral Holdings Limited has been given a formal warning and its CS:GO Roll website has been withdrawn from Australia after the company was found to be providing prohibited interactive gambling services.
An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation found CS:GO Roll was providing casino-style online games, which are illegal under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 if the games are played for money or anything else of value.
CS:GO Roll allowed users to deposit ‘skins’ from popular video game Counter Strike: Global Offensive in exchange for in-game coins that could be used to gamble on casino-style games. Winnings from CS:GO Roll would then be paid out in the form of skins, which could be converted into real money using third-party platforms.
Gaming skins are used to change the look of virtual items or characters and can be won in video games or purchased via third party websites.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said gambling sites must follow Australian gambling laws, even if they use virtual items instead of traditional currency.
“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,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
“Skins gambling services are particularly concerning as they tap into a youth market and have the potential to convert gamers into gamblers,” she said.
Feral Holdings has been issued with a formal warning for contravening Australian gambling laws.
The ACMA publishes a register of licensed interactive wagering services so consumers can check the service they are using is legal in Australia.
Information about how consumers can protect themselves from illegal gambling operators is available on the ACMA website.