A YouTube star has been fined more than $100,000 after it was discovered he and a partner were running an illegal gambling website connected to a FIFA video game.
It is not uncommon for YouTubers or Twitch members to gain a following due to online game play. Be it XboxOne, PlayStation or any other console, the gaming community loves to watch players in action, whether they are good or bad. Players who take to YouTube and Twitch can make a ton of money by streaming their game play. It seems one YouTuber took his fame to another level, creating a video game gambling site and now must pay the price.
$114,000 in Fines
Craig Douglas is a prominent YouTuber who goes by the name NepentheZ online. He has over 1.4 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and with his partner Dylan Rigby, created an illegal gambling website based on the FIFA video game which has now landed the two in hot water. A total of $331,220 in fines were issued against the two men as the illegal gambling website was linked to the video game which is enjoyed by children.
The two men ran a service which allowed gamblers to wager virtual currency that in turn could be purchased for cash. Douglas ended up paying $114,000 of the total fine while Rigby paid the remainder. Hailing from the United Kingdom, both men admitted to holding director positions within Game Gold Tradings Limited, which is a company that operated at FutGalaxy.com as well as advertised. The unlicensed gambling website was discovered by the UK Gambling Commission and the case was decided upon this past week.
The website was set up to allow players to transfer any virtual currency from the FIFA 17 video game. The currency could then be used to wager on real time soccer matches or other games. Winnings would then be transferred back into the video game. EA Sports produces the FIFA games and have made it impossible for players to trade or sell coins that are purchased. Such black market sites as this one allow for such trading and selling to take place.
EA Sports is not connected to the site and are not being accused of any wrong doing. District Judge McGarva stated in the case that the offense was ‘very grave’ and that children had been using the site to gamble but it was not possible to know exactly how many. CEO of the Gambling Commission, Sarah Harrison, commented on the case by stating that this was one of the more serious cases to be investigated and prosecuted by the Commission.
Knew About the Children
Reportedly, the defendants in the case knew about the children’s participation but did not stop offering the service. According to Harrison the men turned a blind eye in order to make a profit. Douglas has since apologize for his actions stating that he owed a huge apology to his family as well as supporters, appreciating everyone who stood by him. He continued to make new videos for YouTube, even issuing an apology on the matter.
Douglas stated that he has learned his lesson and that he made a huge mistake. He did some things wrong, acting naïve and arrogant.
This is just one example of how gaming has begun to create a black market of sorts for gambling. Many regulating bodies such as the UK Gaming Commission are trying to fight such sites in order to keep illegal gambling from harming children as well as adults.