YouTube personality Craig Douglas, 32, and his business partner, 33-year-old Dylan Rigby pleaded guilty in court today to the charge of operating an illegal gambling operation (via Rock Paper Shotgun).
Douglas and Rigby were charged under the UK Gambling Act, an initiative devised to stem the tide of videogame currencies being used to place and fulfill real bets.
On his YouTube channel where he posts under the online handle NepentheZ, Douglas posted videos about EA's FIFA series of sports games. In several videos, the pair promoted certain gambling websites where players could buy and sell in-game coins to place bets on real football/soccer matchups. Players could then go another site called FUT Galaxy, also owned by the business partners, and put their coins back into FIFA or cash out and sell them.
Not only did Douglas and Rigby own and operate some of those websites, they neglected to disclose their association with those operations to viewers. FUT Galaxy has been shut down, but its Spanish-speaking counterpart, FutGoles.com, is still operating as of this writing.
Douglas plead guilty to one charging of running a gambling firm without an operating license and another charge of advertising unlawful gambling. Rigby also plead guilty to two charges: providing facilities for gambling, and advertising unlawful gambling. Both men are awaiting sentencing.
These charges come from an increased effort by the UK Gambling Commission to keep a closer eye on gambling using virtual items. The Commission stepped up its efforts in this area following the controversy over CS: GO gambling sites last year.
Image courtesy of The Daily Dot.