UK YouTube Personality Charged with Promoting Gambling to Minors
Dylan Rigby (who goes by Nepenthez) and Craig Douglas were brought before a magistrate last week at the Birmingham Magistrates’ Court where they were formally charged with promoting lottery and advertising unlawful gambling, according to a report on the BBC.
Douglas and Rigby’s popular YouTube channels have millions of followers and frequently promote sites that use virtual currency called FIFA Coins to wager on the outcome of soccer matches played on EA Sports FIFA games.
This practice is also known as Skin Betting and has grown into a massive, and mostly unregulated niche gambling market. According to the UK Gambling Commission, the worldwide skin betting market is currently worth around £4 billion ($5.2 billion USD).
Skin betting has been around for quite some time and is extremely popular with fans of the video game Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO). In the CS:GO version of skin betting, players wager to win virtual gun decorations which can then be sold to other players for real cash.
The pair are believed to be the first e-sports figures hit with these types of charges but, given the tone coming from the Gambling Commission in recent months, they won’t be the last. Video game wagering is definitely on the Commission’s radar and it’s clear that they see it as a real threat to the health and well-being of Britain’s young people.
Douglas and Rigby are due to appear in court again on October 12.