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Skin-betting licence for ESP.bet

Move to regulate gambling virtual goods

The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission has awarded ESP.bet the first ever skin-betting licence, a new category which sanctions gambling with virtual goods.

The 'skin' in the title refers to virtual designer weapons found in the video game Counter Strike: Global Offensive, which features an in-game currency.

These skins can be transferred to other third-party sites meaning they, and other similar items, can be valued in the real world.

Regulations in the Isle of Man were updated earlier this year in response to changing technology in the online betting world.

The new rules allow licensees to accept transactions in bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Skin gambling has until now been regarded as unregulated, with the industry last year estimated to be worth $5 billion.

Chief Executive of ESP.bet Scott Burton says to date, the gambling of virtual goods has been a 'grey' market, and the awarding of the licence is a first step towards building a regulated marketplace.

Mr Burton added ESP.bet undertakes 'know your customer' age verification checks and has a transparent approach to its gaming system.

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