There is lot of bad information out there about gambling and CS GO betting. We hope to provide you with some clarity.
Some gamble responsibly. Some compulsively gamble in an incredibly dangerous way. Some gamblers know how to work the system. Some gamble without knowing the math and odds. Some win. Most lose. We would like to shed some light on the CSGO betting scene so that you can make more informed decisions.
CSGO Betting - Cash, Bitcoin, Skins and More
Traditional gambling involves wagering real money. You pony up cold hard cash in hopes to walk away with more. That is still certainly an option but there are now additional ways to bet.
There is no doubt that cash betting is popular. It is also heavily regulated. Regulation means that certain restrictions are put in place. Some regions disallow gambling and betting all together. Others allow it for those 18+.
Regulations and restrictions are not aimed exclusively at the consumer. Many governments actively monitor and regulate the gambling sites themselves. This helps to assure the consumers are protected and treated fairly.
Since the customers are betting an actual currency, there is a paper trail for every transaction. This helps to keep everyone accountable. If you deposit money into a site that treats you unfairly or simply attempts to take your money and run, systems are in place to help you get your money back.
Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. No one controls or governs it. It is decentralized, anonymous, and completely transparent. You can read more about Bitcoin here.
Since nobody controls or governs it, there are very minimal fees involved. When you pay for something with a credit card, the person receiving the money typically has to pay a 3% fee. If you pay $100, the recipient would only receive $97. With Bitcoin, the recipient receives the full $100. With this and many other factors at place, Bitcoin is becoming increasingly popular for online commerce.
Bitcoin is also completely anonymous. When you pay for something with a credit card, it is typically fairly painless to trace the payment back to you. Transactions made with Bitcoin are anonymous. As such, Bitcoin is quite popular for placing bets in regions where gambling is prohibited.
Just because gambling with Bitcoin enables companies and individuals to avoid accountability and governance does not mean you should absentmindedly partake. We urge you to always comply with any and all governing laws.
Standard currencies are typically very stable. $10 USD is $10 USD no matter who you ask. On the other hand the value of CSGO skins when used to deposit on a gambling site have the value the site is willing to give at that time. These prices can change frequently and each site will give their own value for items.
The economics of supply and demand have brought a reasonable level of stability to CSGO skins. Therefore if you do enough research you can find opportunities to have better odds for particular bets on each site.
Just as you might bet $30 USD, you could bet a CS:GO item that is worth about $30 USD. Betting a virtual item, such as a CS:GO skin, instead of cash, appears to be a gray area. We are not here to interpret the law for you. Please do your own research and act in accordance with your governing laws.
Regardless of your position on this matter, please always treat your CSGO skins as cash. They hold a very real value. The consequences for betting a virtual CS GO item are the exact same as betting cash.
What can CS GO skins be bet on?
Roulette & Casino Games
Most of the popular sites for CSGO skin betting offer variations of typical casino games such as roulette. These sites offer games where you might double up, triple up, or even win 50x your bet.
Traditional Sports & eSports
Most will agree that betting on casino-style games should be classified as gambling. No skill is involved. It is all luck. There is an undeniable house edge. In the long run, the customer will always lose.
But what about betting on traditional sports or eSports? While a fair amount of luck is certainly involved, there is an element of skill as well. While most casually wager, there are professionals. These professionals do their research and win often enough to make money.
When you factor in skins/items being bet instead of currencies, you get deep into an area that is seemingly not yet a focus of most governments and regulators. How long will this continue? Will skin betting continue to be overlooked? Or will they crack down on it? Only time will tell.
What are the odds? Can I win?
On casino-style games, it is unlikely that you will win. On sports / eSports betting, you have a chance of walking away a winner. But you need to take quite a few things into consideraiton.
Casino House Edge
All casino games have a mathmatical advantage over you. Most have a house edge between 5% and 10%. For every $100 bet, the house will on average take $5 to $10. Can you play a few rounds and win? Sure. If you cash out and never come back, then congratulations...you are one of the lucky few.
But a vast majority of those that gamble on these types of sites will lose. These sites do not exist to produce winners. They exist to make a profit for themselves. You should always expect to lose all of your money on these sites. If you think you can win, you are wrong and should seek help.
Beware of CSGO Item Betting Professionals
Professional bettors do an incredible amount of research. Betting is their full time job. They do not bet with emotion. They bet with data. These guys and gals know what the hell they are doing. If you are a casual bettor, you should expect to lose.
Item Arbitrage: Minimize Losses + Maximize Winnings
Whether you are a casual bettor or a professional, item arbitrage can help you out. What's item arbitrage? It is buying items that are underpriced and cashing out items that are overpriced.
With cash betting, there is no flexibility on the price. $50 USD is $50 USD. With CS GO skin betting, certain levels of flexibility exist. Let's say a site is valuing a certain item at $100. What if you are able to buy that item on Loot Market for $80? You have given yourself a 20% advantage.
Many sites require you to deposit your CSGO skins and receive site credits. You then bet the site credits. When you want to cash out, you will redeem your credits for an item. Many sites are new to this industry and do not have a firm grasp on item values. What if you were able to redeem your points for a $100 item that the site valued at $80? Boom. Another 20% advantage.
What if you can take that $100 item you paid $80 for and sell it for more on Loot Market? Another gain for you.
If you are able to buy cheap CSGO items and cash out overpriced items and sell them for a premium, you may be able to walk away a winner.
Do you have a gambling problem or addiction?
While many are able to responsibly and legally enjoy gambling, some develop very addictive, dangerous habits. Is there a chance you might have an issue? Do yourself a favor and take this 20 question quiz to find out. Do not be ashamed to get help. Gambling addictions are very dangerous.