This court ruling is the first time we've seen a big-name YouTuber get properly punished for scamming viewers.
After pleading guilty to gambling charges concerning his ownership of the FIFA video game-focused gambling site FUT Galaxy, YouTube personality Craig Douglas, known online as “Nepenthez,” has been court-ordered to pay more than 90,000 pounds in fines.
Douglas was first charged with illegally encouraging gambling on the site back in September, a violation of the United Kingdom’s Gambling Act and the first video game-related case concerning the law. He had uploaded videos to his YouTube channel showing him using FUT Galaxy to “win” FIFA Ultimate coins without disclosing that the site was, in fact, his own, and, according to district judge Jack McCarva, he and business partner Dylan Rigby did nothing to discourage children from using it — Douglas even said that the site didn’t require users to be 18 because “this is a virtual currency.”
“In my opinion, both of you were aware of the use of the site by children and the attractiveness of it to children. At the very least, you both turned a blind eye to it,” McCarva said.
Three years ago, Douglas sang a much different tune, saying that minors “shouldn’t be gambling” but that doing so is only “on their parents” and not the responsibility of outside influencers.
This isn’t the first time such a controversy has erupted in the YouTube gaming space. Last summer, popular streamers Tom “Syndicate” Cassell and Trevor “TMartn” Martin were caught doing almost the exact same thing via their Counter-Strike: GO gambling website, CSGO Lotto.
Both intentionally misled users into believing that they had simply stumbled upon the site and made several videos showing them “winning” pots of cash. Cassell has remained almost entirely silent on the subject, while Martin made an apology video, since taken down from his own channel, that attempted to minimize his wrongdoing. Neither Cassell nor Martin has been charged with a crime, but Martin is in the middle of a Florida lawsuit regarding CSGO Lotto. You can find a detailed rundown of their situation as well as Douglas’ case over at YouTube channel “HonorTheCall.”