Two United Kingdom characters that can only be described as unsavoury, Craig Douglas, 33, of Ilford, Essex, and Dylan Rigby, 34, of Colchester, recently faced heavy fines after pleading guilty to online gambling transgressions. The pair ran a website known as FUT Galaxy, which predominantly sold FUT coins. The FUT coins could be used as betting currency on live broadcasts of the FIFA series of video games, and, in turn, the FUT coins were convertible to FIFA coins, which could be sold for real money.
So what’s the problem, I hear you asking, that all sounds reasonable? First, the whole operation was not, naturally, authorised by FIFA, or Electronic Arts, the makers of the games. Secondly, children as young as 12 years old were participating in the scheme and effectively gambling. Now you see the red lights start flashing and hear the alarm sirens wailing.
As would be expected, authorities descended on the operation, and the two were shut down. After confiscating laptops and computers, the full extent of the operation was revealed, bringing to light further illegal online gambling facilities. Fines of hundreds of thousands of pounds were imposed on the pair, and we can all now punch some sky in mutual celebration. Bless the UK gambling authorities.
YouTube Hero Deceit
What makes the whole situation a great deal worse is that Douglas was a fairly well known YouTube personality, going under the alias NepentheZ. Fans logged on to YouTube regularly to watch him play FIFA, and it is no exaggeration to say that he blatantly used his influence to lure fans, children, over to the gambling part of the operation. Despicable is a word that springs to mind.
Now, I for one have had pretty good experiences with YouTubers. There are a few I check up on almost daily, mostly related to video games, and I have been largely happy that the most popular people on YouTube seem to be genuinely nice people.
The Infamous PewDiePie, commanding so many subscribers that he surely makes television producers blush, may not appeal to my sense of humour, but the guy really seems to do his best to be level headed and reasonable about serious issues. The same goes for Markiplier and Jack Septiceye, some more of the most popular YouTubers. They’re all good people who try their best to spread positive messages whenever possible.
It really is an enormous shame then, that there are YouTubers out there such as Douglas who would use their platform, and popularity, to manipulate those who watch them. These fans not only make the job of being a YouTuber possible, but also trust that the person they watch is looking out for their best interests. And, lets just come out and say it, with the way YouTube is growing; we likely haven’t seen the last of such regrettable occurrences.
What Is YouTube Doing?
I don’t claim to know what goes into running an obscenely large entity like YouTube, but also can’t help but wonder how such a thing went on, without YouTube itself clamping down sooner. I’ve seen YouTube channels fight with copyright infringements previously, and this was on videos that were hardly a few hours old. How, exactly, did these two swindlers get away with their operation for so long, raking in hundreds of thousands of illegal pounds in the process, without YouTube raising an eyebrow?
You can perhaps argue that is not the job of YouTube to be on the lookout for gambling infringements, but given that they have dealt out such iron fisted wrath over copyright laws, it would be nice to see them paying attention to infringements of a different nature. Either way, the two evil doers are no longer on YouTube, and are now likely looking poverty in the face. I also trust that YouTubers are now a great deal wiser to such things.