Gambling is one of the most popular forms of entertainment on the planet.  In the U.S. alone, some 85 percent of adults have participated in some form of gambling at least once in their lives, whether it be at a traditional casino, online casino,  sports betting, lottery ticket purchase, or raffle. While those forms of gambling are familiar to most, in recent years, eSports (electronic sports), a competitive form of video gaming, and skin gambling have grown in popularity in the gaming community.

Skin gambling distinguishes itself from traditional betting in that users can wager against each other online, usually by utilizing in-game items that are converted into virtual currency. This type of gambling technique increases reward opportunities, providing a greater level of competition in video games like Counter Strike Global Offensive (CSGO), where wagers are made on the results of games and competitions. The multiplayer tactical first-person shooter (FPS) video game was among the first to introduce the skin gambling market.

American video game developer Valve Corporation (Valve) introduced the concept of skins, which are virtual items that can be used by players to customize their character’s appearance/a rare outfit or equipment, i.e. weapons, cars, etc., within the game, to CSGO in August 2013, with The Arms Deal Update. It was the first significant patch CSGO received, allowing players to collect decorated virtual weapons by way of timed weapon drops when playing CSGO on official and community servers.

Players can also obtain these skins by purchasing them in the game’s virtual store or earning them from prize “crates” after they have completed a mission or achievement. CSGO Gambling 2024 websites allow players to bet the cosmetics and virtual items/skins on the outcome of various forms of gambling like skin betting, slots, jackpot systems, coin flipping, and more, transforming computer-generated gear into real-world rewards.

Initially, skins were nothing more than collectible items, but visual appeal and rarity have seen a significant rise in demand, increasing their value and giving way to a prosperous virtual item trading market. In today’s market, skins can sell for thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, in 2021 a skin made for the AK-47 rifle in the CS:GO video game sold for a whopping $150,000!

Highly competitive gameplay and a thriving eSports scene helped CSGO develop a cult-like following online, even after seven years. It is the fourth game in the Counter-Strike series of games and attracts millions of players who compete at high levels. The competitive nature of the game bodes well in the gambling world. CSGO tournaments allow both fans and players to further interact with the game in its professional setting while wagering on tournaments gives fans a stake in the outcome.

As they are readily available, the ease of access to CSGO gambling platforms has contributed considerably to its success. Not only is CSGO one of the most popular computer games and also a platform for betting. Millions of gamers enjoy playing Counter-Strike, however, official tournaments online are viewed by millions more. With a fanbase of this size, it’s not surprising that these eSports matches are worth big bucks. According to Statista, in 2022, the game’s annual cumulative tournament prize pool was US$16.4 million.

After nearly a decade of gameplay, CSGO was upgraded to Counter-Strike 2 in September 2023, and as of March 2024, had 1.52 million peak concurrent players on Steam. CSGO has been completely replaced on the digital distribution platform by the sequel.

The first edition of the Esports World Cup will be held in Saudia Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh, from July 3 – August 25, and will reportedly feature 22 events in 21 different video game titles. Participants will compete for more than US$60 million, the largest combined prize pool in eSports history.