Craig Douglas, a prominent YouTuber, and his partner have been fined a total of £265,000 or $331,220 for running an illegal gambling site that was linked to a popular video game FIFA that is also played by children. Douglas, who goes by the YouTube name of NephentheZ and has more than 1.4 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, along with his partner Dylan Rigby, ran a service to let users gamble with virtual money that could be used to get real cash.
Rigby was slapped with a fine of £174,000 while Douglas was ordered to pay £91,000 or $114,000. Both Douglas and Rigby are from the U.K. and both are directors of Game Gold Tradings Limited, a company that advertised and operated FutGalaxy.com which is an unlicensed website that involves gambling. The U.K. Gambling Commission brought the prosecution about.
FutGalaxy.com allowed gamers to transfer virtual currency out of the video game FIFA 17 and use the money to bet on real soccer matches and other games. The winnings could then be transferred back to the game. Online black market sites have emerged to facilitate trading or selling of coins that players buy as FIFA games do not have trading coin trading features in them.
There is no link between FIFA and its developer EA Sports to the illegal gambling website run by Rigby and Douglas. There are no accusations aimed at game developer Electronic Arts in relation to this. According to District Judge McGarva, the offense is very grave and stated that children have been gambling on the website although it is impossible to ascertain how many children gambled. The judge was shown a footage of a 12-year-old boy using the website to gamble as reported by NBC News.
FutGalaxy.com offers gambling products which include a jackpot lottery style game, sports betting, and a higher or lower style game. The full extent of the gambling operation advertised and facilitated by the defendants was revealed after search warrants were executed by the commission at the homes of the defendants. A number of electronic devices and company documents were seized during the search as published by ars TECHNICA.