Specifically, Judge Dismisses a Lawsuit of Parents Whose Children Gambled
Valve can breathe another sigh of relief or annoyance. A US judge has dismissed a lawsuit case against Valve, which was, in short, a rather odd case. This case was not against those that were directly affected, but rather the secondary party whose wallets were affected.
This particular lawsuit was for affected parents of minors. These minors, who were gambling on third party sites with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with skins that were bought and sold on Valve. Said minors would use these skins to bet on the outcome of matches. And the reason that Valve was directly sued, was, well, because Valve gets a cut of every skin that is bought and sold from Counter-Strike.
If they had been representing the children who had been gambling from these third-party sites (some of which have been up and running since 2015) they might have had a chance of winning. But, thanks to the Steam Subscriber Agreement, they can’t. It states in every Valve agreement between thecompany and Steam user, in the very long legal form that: “You and Valve agree to resolve all disputes and claims between us in individual binding arbitration…You understand that you and Valve are giving up the right to sue in court and to have a trial before a judge or jury.” And while a complaint was brought up, Valve pointed out that they did not encourage underage gambling.
So the parents made the attempt. And it failed, as, well, the parents had no idea what was going on. The district judge, James L Robart, sums it up quite well: “The parents could not prove they had been deceived by Valve…[They have] never visited a Valve or Steam website, never used Steam, never played CS:GO, and never saw or read any representations from Valve about CS:GO, keys, or weapon cases.”
In short, according to Robart, since there was no direct interaction, especially in the business sense, the parents had no case whatsoever. The fact that the parents gave their children money without knowing what it was going towards, and likely had no idea what loot boxes were.
If there’s any lesson that can be taken from this dismissed lawsuit, it is to always know what your money is going towards- especially if it’s for someone else.