The UK Gambling Commission has charged two Essex-based YouTubers, Craig “NepentheZ” Douglas and Dylan Rigby, with promoting an online gambling site based around FIFA’s in-game coins to minors.
The charges come on the heels of this summer’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gambling debacle, where several YouTubers were revealed to have failed to disclose their involvement with CS:GO skin gambling sites, using videos of themselves winning thousands of dollars on these sites to encourage their viewers to visit and gamble away their funds on CS:GO loot boxes.
At the time, several commentators noted that many of these YouTubers’ fans were underage, and that promoting underage gambling to minors is indeed a criminal offense in some nations.
Several of the sites involved in the CS:GO betting scandals began jumping ship from the gambling business after these lack of disclosure came to light, and Valve issued several crease-and-desist orders to compel them to stop using the Steam API.
The charges against Douglas and Rigby are certainly an indication that governments are beginning to look more closely at video game-related gambling, and that developers should definitely keep in close contact with their legal teams if they intend to integrate such gambling into their business model.