Why Are CSGO Betting Servers Down?

When it comes to competitive online gaming, nothing quite says “glory” like being able to bet on the outcomes. But since the inception of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) betting, the thrill of placing wagers on the games you love has been diminished by the anxiety of wondering whether or not the site you’re logged into will be up and running. Or if you’ll even be able to log in at all.

It didn’t take long for websites that specialize in CSGO betting to go down. Three days after the game’s release, 888 Casino, one of the biggest and most popular betting sites for CSGO, announced that it was halting operations due to hacked account information. And it didn’t stop there: Within days, several other popular betting sites for CSGO were affected.

Since then, many other websites have closed their doors, and those that remain struggle with low traffic and inconsistent profits. But if you’re still looking to place bets on your favorite competitive online game, here’s what you should know about the current state of affairs and why exactly these websites are closed.

The Biggest And Most Popular CSGO Betting Sites Are Shutting Down

If you’ve ever used any of the following websites, you’ll know that they’re among the biggest and most popular CSGO betting sites:

  • 888 Casino – one of the first to offer CSGO betting, open for business since 2009 and founded by the same group that owns 888 Slots, 888 Online Casino, and 888 Instant Play
  • BetOnline – one of the first big, reputable betting sites for CSGO, established in 1995 and owned by Swedish corporation Octagon Interactive
  • Pinnacle – owned by Amaya Inc, one of the world’s largest online casino holding companies; established in 1994 and formerly known as Pinneberg
  • Gamania – founded in Malta in 1994 and owned by Malta-based company, CGAM; offers both sports and entertainment betting as well as a large number of casino games
  • GGPoker – established in Gibraltar in 2018 and owned by Gibraltar-based company, Rock Gaming; offers poker, casino, and sports betting
  • Empire eSports – founded in 2014 and owned by a group of investors from Sweden, Denmark, and Norway; sponsors a number of big-name sports leagues and competitions around the world including the NBA, NHL, and PGA
  • Full Tilt – one of the first big, reputable betting sites for CSGO, established in 2008 and owned by Swedish corporation, NetEnt; acquired by German company, Microgaming in 2016 and later merged with other brands under the NetEnt umbrella
  • Betting.com – one of the early pioneers of online gambling, founded in 1995 and owned by UK company, Octagon Social; merged with Unibet in 2019 to form Unibet UK, which is now the UK arm of Unibet (incoming affiliate, disclosure).
  • Intertops – one of the biggest online betting exchanges for CSGO, established in 2011 and owned by UK company, Betfair; offers betting on several sports and esports events as well as select casinos and poker rooms
  • Betting.ag – founded in 2017 and owned by Swiss company, Betsafe Group; allows users to bet on nearly anything through their online betting platform; now offers online gambling in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania as part of their expansion plan

All of these websites shut down their CSGO betting in the wake of the 888 Casino hack. But it wasn’t just the big sites that closed down: Many smaller, independent, and/or offshore websites also stopped taking bets on this game, citing concerns over security and the integrity of the betting system.

The bottom line is, there are fewer and fewer places you can place your bets on your favorite competitive online game. Even some of the bigger sites have stopped taking bets on CSGO, and it’s unlikely that they’ll ever offer this game again.

Why Is Security So Important?

If you’ve ever used any of the big, reputable CSGO betting sites, you’ll know that they take security seriously. And it shows: These sites have some of the best security measures in place. They use strong, complex passwords, keep financial information secure, and encrypt all communications. So it’s no wonder why they were singled out for attack.

But even if you’re using a smaller site, it’s still important to safeguard your personal information. You can use a VPN to keep your personal data secure when browsing the web or making financial transactions. A VPN will also unblock geoblocked websites and games, allowing you to browse the full selection of games available on a given platform.

Keeping your personal data secure is especially important if you engage in online gambling. Many countries (including the UK) have banned the practice, citing the potential for addiction and financial security threats. So if you live in Canada, Australia, or any of the other 16 countries that have outlawed gambling, then using a VPN is probably a good idea.

The More You Know, The More You’ll Be At Risk

One of the biggest concerns among users of CSGO betting sites is the possibility of being phished – having your personal information (i.e., bank account and password) stolen by con artists who pose as a trustworthy party (e.g., an online casino or sports betting website).

It’s a legitimate worry, given that the vast majority of these sites are operated by unregulated, anonymous companies from overseas. While this may be tempting for those who want to play at home without having to travel to a casino, it comes with serious risks. If you ever get an e-mail or phone call from a supposedly reputable company or website asking for your personal information, then it’s probably a scam. Delete the e-mail and don’t provide any information over the phone. If you do provide personal information, make sure you log off the site immediately thereafter.

Unfortunately, security on these sites is still an open question, given that the majority of them use some form of an online casino software provider (e.g., Cryptologic, Respeaker, or Red Sands). As mentioned above, some of these companies have had their databases hacked, exposing users’ account information.

Limited Information About The Hack

When 888 Casino announced that it was closing down, it released only the following statement:

“Following a recent hack, we have made the decision to close down our betting site. We are working hard to re-establish our operations as soon as possible.”

Based on this, it is still unknown whether or not the attack was state-sponsored. But given the sensitive nature of the information that was likely compromised (e.g., user account names, passwords, and perhaps financial information), it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that a nation-state was involved.

The bottom line is, even though the sites are legally required to take security seriously, it’s still an open question whether or not they’re actually doing enough. And until we know more about the security measures in place and how these companies store and protect user information, it would be best to assume the worst. In other words, use a VPN.