The gaming world was rocked by a gambling scandal last year. After it was revealed that two Youtubers promoting a gambling site, CSGO Lotto, on their channel, actually owned the site themselves. The two owners recently faced the Federal Trade Commission and were spared any fines or other punishment. The gambling in question is linked to the video game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with users being able to gamble with the in-game skins.
CSGO Lotto Failed to admit they owned the Site
The owners of the site, CSGO Lotto, would regularly post videos to YouTube, showing how easily they were able to win skins that were worth large sums of money. A skin is essentially a paint scheme for the in-game weapons. The more unique and rare the paint scheme, the more money it’s worth.
The two were eventually exposed by another YouTuber known as ‘Honor TheCall’. He discovered documents where the two men in question, Trevor ‘TmarTN’ Martin and Thomas ‘Syndicate’ Cassell, were listed as the president and vice-president of the website they were promoting. Due to this fact, it was suggested that the videos were rigged for promotional purposes in order to make it appear winning was really easy. The owners never disclosed in their videos that they owned the site they were promoting.
Online Goods Gambling a Grey Area
The gambling of virtual goods sits in a grey area of the law. This is because many jurisdictions around the world are still not certain if gambling on digital goods even counts as gambling. The Federal Trade Commission said that this was the first case of this nature that had been brought to its attention. Due to the lack of formal guidelines, it decided not to punish the owners. Instead, it made it clear that they must clearly disclose any connection between an endorser and the product being promoted.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive allows players to transfer their skins to third-party sites, like CSGO Lotto. This allowed the digital goods to take on a real-world value and players were able to gamble with their skins. Thankfully, certain jurisdictions, such as the UK and Isle of Man, are starting to put guidelines in place for regulating the gambling of digital goods.