Judge lambasts defendants for allowing children to gamble on their FUTGalaxy website
What is believed to be the first prosecution in the UK for betting on video games and skin betting (eSports) played out in a Birmingham court Monday.
Craig Douglas, who is a prominent gamer and has a YouTube channel under the pseudonym NepentheZ, with more than 1.4 million subscribers, and business partner Dylan Rigby, were accused of allowing players, some of them children, to buy and sell FIFA in-game virtual coins.
Douglas and Rigby initially pleaded not-guilty to charges of using Youtube to promote a lottery and advertising unlawful gambling but changed their plea to guilty when they appeared before court today.
District Judge, Jack McGarva, sent a clear message with the imposition of a fine on Rigby and Douglas of GBP 24,000 and GBP 16,000 respectively, saying the men had not been honest about their finances in which the court heard their FutGalaxy website had racked up pre-tax profit of GBP 96,000 between July 2015 and February 2016.
In addition, Rigby and Douglas were ordered to pay prosecution costs of GBP 150,000 and GBP 75,000 respectively.
"The aggravating features of these offences are they were committed over a relatively long period of about six months," McGarva said in his ruling. "Children were gambling on your site. It's impossible for me to know how many or the effect on them.
"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."
Nepenthez took to twitter after the ruling, saying: "The worst year of my life concluded today. I have so much to say, but you'll take whatever judgement you feel needed from the press."
"I'll upload a video in due course presenting my side of the story. The facts remain I plead guilty to 2 charges, and a substantial fine."
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa