The CS:GO match-fixing scandal that rocked the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community in November 2018 is a stark reminder of just how much fun betting on games can be. The scandal began when a police officer in Thailand was recorded on camera discussing a $300,000 (or 500,000 baht) pay-off to ensure a certain match went according to plan. That plan was for the game’s popular betting platform, CSGO Lounge to win big on a particular match, as betting on that game can be highly lucrative. Police later arrested four people they accused of match-fixing in that order: Andy, a.k.a. ‘The Wolf’, Vinny, a.k.a. ‘Krakatoa’, Michael, a.k.a. ‘Azmo’, and Jonathan, a.k.a. ‘Jontue’. All were members of a group called ‘Aiming for Five’ which police said was involved in fixing matches on CSGO Lounge. The case soon spread to other regions, resulting in a total of 17 arrests and the seizure of millions of dollars worth of equipment. According to the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, over 14.8 million British adults regularly participate in online betting.
If you’re reading this, it means you either have a significant interest in Esports or have at least heard of the genre. If not, this article might not be for you. But if you are interested, here’s a primer on how CSGO lounge betting works.
How Does It Work?
To start with, let’s discuss the basics of how sports betting and CSGO betting differs. While most sportsbooks offer odds on a range of sports, CSGO betting mostly deals with just one game. So instead of risking money on the outcome of the Superbowl or the NBA Finals, you are mainly placing wagers on whether or not a specific game will end in a tie or a certain team will advance to the next round. In many cases, the teams can be named: the Seattle Seahawks vs. the San Francisco 49ers, for example. In other cases, such as the French Open or the Kentucky Derby, the specific players can be named: Roger Federer or James Bolden, respectively. In still other cases, you can wager on the weather conditions: whether or not it will rain during a certain event. In most cases, the weather factor is the only one that comes with an implied probability, as no sportsbook offers odds on whether or not a tennis player will win a point or make a play. That sort of thing is reserved for the individual game outcomes. As a result, while most sportsbooks operate in a traditional manner, offering odds on a range of sports, CSGO betting is largely about picking individual games and getting odds on those games. In many ways, it’s similar to picking individual stocks in the financial industry instead of putting your money on the performance of the stock market as a whole. The major difference, of course, is that while you might lose a little money on the stock market by picking individual stocks, you are assured of winning or losing money on individual games of tennis or golf or whatever else you might bet on.
One of the things people love about CSGO betting is its ease of use. Since the game’s developers decided to go with an odds-based format, most sportsbooks offer an extremely user-friendly betting interface. For instance, in order to bet on a game, you need to click on the ‘Lounge’ tab at the top of the page, then click on the game you wish to bet on. Next, you will need to set the amount you want to bet (in most cases, setting the amount to 1 will do) and decide whether or not you want to bet ‘money back’ or ‘win’ or ‘place’ bets (if you are familiar with American sports, the latter two are ‘dimes’ over/under’ systems, where you are betting either that the game will end in a certain number of points or that your team will win). Once you’ve made the appropriate selections, you will be presented with a list of available opponents and their individual win rates. You can then proceed to place your bets. If a match ends in a tie, there will be no difference in the amount won or lost by either side. However, if your side wins, you will earn money based on the amount you originally bet and the odds you originally placed (assuming it is a winning bet). If your team loses, you will lose the amount you originally bet. For new users, the simplicity of this betting interface should not be understated. It is extremely easy to place a bet and either win or lose. The simplicity of this system makes it ideal for people who are new to the game or for people who just want to quickly place a bet on a specific game without having to browse through a bunch of menus or options to do so. Most importantly, as a result of the odds-based format, those who enjoy placing bets on sports, even if they are just casually, can easily do so without knowing anything about tennis, golf, or other similar games. All they need to know is that they want to bet on a game and the odds they can find on that game (assuming they are a legal entity and able to place bets).
One of the things that sets CSGO lounge betting apart from most other sportsbooks is its willingness to offer promotions and perks to its users. Many sportsbooks, including the ones that are affiliated with the National Football League (NFL) or Major League Baseball (MLB), offer a variety of discounts and special deals to existing customers. Some even give you a free bet just for signing up. These types of promotions can make all the difference in encouraging someone to try out a new service or give them a reason to stick with a service they know and trust. In terms of encouraging repeat business, free bets in particular can be a great way to accomplish that. In the case of CSGO betting, not only do you get free bets when you create an account with the platform, you also get a free bet every month. As long as you make at least 10 bets, this monthly free bet is yours to keep regardless of the outcome of those bets. (In most cases, the amount of your free bet will be credited to your account within 24 hours.) So not only do you get a free bet when you create an account with the service, you also get a free bet every month as long as you make at least 10 bets. This is a great way increase the odds of winning or losing money, especially if you are playing against a team of robots or computer programs rather than real people. It can also encourage someone to bet on a game they might not normally play. For example, if you normally don’t bet on MMA or combat sports, you might try out CSGO betting just to see how it works and to enjoy the perks that come with it. The fact that you get a free bet every month, even if you lose, can also make the gamble appear more attractive.
In most countries, online gambling is legal, but it is still somewhat of a grey area. There are currently no specific laws that govern online gambling in most countries, so each country can interpret the rules and regulations pertaining to online gambling as they see fit. Since it is still a relatively new form of gambling, there are no specific legalities that pertain to online gambling as of yet. But that could change at any time, as countries like Australia, India, and the UK are slowly moving toward allowing online gambling, with the former two already having fully legalized it.
It is also important to keep in mind that not all operators of online gambling platforms are created equal. Some of them might be reputable, but many are not. Just like with any other form of online fraud, you should be extremely wary of any site that is asking for your personal details, as you are much more likely to be the victim of identity theft or financial fraud than you are to win big. Even if you are playing with a reputable operator, be sure you are actually placing a real wager and not an automated one. Since it is still relatively new, there is no way of knowing for sure which sites are reputable and which ones are scams, so it is up to you to do your best to find out before you place any sort of a wager. In the meantime, just make sure you are not risking more money than you can afford to lose. If you do happen to lose all your money, however, you likely won’t be able to claim it back from the site, as they will either be unsympathetic or non-existent. Either way, you will be out of luck.