Back when Valve made video games, Counter-Strike combined collaborative and competitive gameplay styles into a new, objectives-based teamwork-driven game with a unique terrorists versus counter-terrorists gimmick. Valve's latest addition to the series, CS Global Offensive, introduced gun skins — purely cosmetic textures that add nothing to the gameplay — available for purchase.
CS GO skins have spawned third-party, "not gambling" sites for not making wagers, not filling pots, and definitely not collecting payouts of skins and cases on virtually every aspect of CS GO matches. By law, kids can't actually gamble — but it's totally cool for them to "not gamble." Naturally, all the "not gambling" these kids did netted Valve a whole lot of moolah during the three years before the company sent out cease-and-desist letters to the third-party "not gambling" sites.
Let's say you're a poker chip manufacturer. (In this thought experiment, your name is Joe/Jane Valve.) In your factory, you make poker chips, which you call skins. Some of the skin chips come in cases — if one of your customers acquires one, and wants to see what's inside, that person can pay a case-opening fee to your company. Upstairs, there's a desk from which an employee on your payroll gives advice on how a casino can get the most out of your company's poker-related paraphernalia. Three years ago, the employee upstairs was made explicitly aware that poker chips from your factory have been used in the casino for gambling purposes.
In addition to manufacturing skin poker chips and cases, you make a gadget called an API, which lets skin poker chip purchasers exchange massive amounts of chips with each other for a fee. Your API gadget enables casinos to shuffle chips around in bulk, giving your company the house's cut each time. Suddenly, after three years of quiet complicity (and amassing millions of dollars from gambling-related transactional fees), your company announces that every single casino in town has ten days to shut down, quit using your API gadget, and either abandon the skin poker chip game altogether, or face court for violating the company's official anti-gambling policy.
For Valve, it seems clear that money often speaks louder than ethical obligations.