The Skin betting scene in Counter Strike was an integral part of the CSGO community. The viewership numbers were also partly driven due to the betting community, while at the same time they helped obtain sponsors for the game. It gave the game immense popularity. While we cannot place the entire weight of the success of CSGO on betting, it cannot be denied that they played an important role
Right at the center of Skin betting was csgolounge.com; a website that was formed with the intention of facilitating Trading and Betting on CSGO professional matches. People used to bet skins and obtain their winnings. This also led to controversial situations. A prominent North American team IBP was banned following revelations that they had purposely fixed the outcome of a match to gain monetary benefits.
A statement released by Valve at the time :
Professional players, their managers, and teams’ organization staff, should under no circumstances gamble on CS:GO matches, associate with high volume CS:GO gamblers, or deliver information to others that might influence their CS:GO bets.
According to a report by Will Green of Legalsports report, csgolounge handled over $1billion worth of bets before it was shut down in August.
This came in the form of roughly 103 million skins bet on around 2,800 matches throughout the year. This rounds out to almost $10 per skin, and 37,000 virtual items per match on average. Of course, some games drew more attention than others. Team Liquid versus SK Gaming at ESL One Cologne this Summer saw the exchange of over 320,000 skins, with matches in that tournament attracting well over $1 million worth of bets per game.
The betting industry had become immensely profitable for many of the websites. We saw the whole controversy about Tmartn and other prominent streamers. These streamers not only had ownership of several of these big gambling sites, but also did not disclose the fact while at the same time promoting the site on their stream to thousands of viewers