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Famous YouTuber Facing FIFA 16 Betting Charges

A few months after Valve started taking action against a dozen Counter-Strike gambling sites following the revelation that two prominent YouTubers and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players owned and promoted one of the sites in question, another betting scandal emerged in the gaming industry. Coincidentally, this one is also related to YouTube. Namely, the United Kingdom has officially charged Craig Douglas—better known by his YouTube nickname NepentheZ—for violating the country’s Gambling Act through his YouTube activities and an identical charge was filed against Dylan Rigby, owner of a video game betting site FUTgalaxy. The prosecution claims the Essex-based duo took advantage of its online popularity to promote something that the Gambling Act defines as “unlawful gambling”. While gambling with FIFA 16 in-game coins isn’t illegal per se, the “unlawful” part comes into play in the context of an underage audience, which is specifically mentioned in the lawsuit against Douglas as he failed to warn his fans that betting is strictly forbidden to anyone under the legal age of 18.

Douglas and Rigby have already recently appeared at the Birmingham Magistrates’ Court but the contents of their hearing remain unknown at the moment. Their trial is scheduled to resume next month, on October 14th. The prosecution of the two men was initiated by the UK Gambling Commission which is looking for a way to loudly warn parents that their children may be lured into taking part in illegal online gambling with in-game currency which the country’s law deems just as illegal as gambling with real money when minors are involved. The said commission took notice of video games-related gambling after recent reports suggested that the global market for betting on the outcome of multiplayer games is worth around £4 billion.

 

Legal experts claim the aforementioned proceedings will set a legal precedent for video game gambling as the case against Douglas and Rigby is strong and they’ll likely be found guilty on most accounts. As numerous online celebrities in the UK are often promoting video game gambling, it’s expected this will at least result in a lot more warnings about the illegality of underage gambling. While gaming YouTubers located outside of the UK and involved in shady gambling-related practices aren’t directly threatened, they might feel indirect consequences if the legislation in their respective home countries takes note of this high profile UK case.

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