YouTubers Accused Of Illegally Promoting Their Gambling Site To Children
5 July 2016, 10:43 | Updated: 6 November 2017, 09:35
This is freaking dark.
The YouTube video game community has been rocked over the last 24 hours after news has come to light that two of it's most prominent YouTubers were involved in an underage gambling website that earned an estimated $2.3 billion in 2015 alone. Both Trevor "TmarTn" Martin and Tom "Syndicate" Cassel promoted the website as a 'get rich quick' method on their channel to a combined audience of over 10 million subscribers - but never ONCE disclosed that they owned the website.
The website, CS:GO Lotto, allows players over 13-years-old to trade weapon skins for real world money based on the video game Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Basically, that means people collect fancy looking guns in-game and sell them via a digital Marketplace to other people according to how rare they are - the rarer the skin, the higher the bet. In the video below, you can see Syndicate winning ridiculously rare items on the website without mentioning at all that he is the Vice President which tbh, is pretty shady once you know the truth.
YouTubers have been in hot water in the past for not revealing their sponsored videos and content, with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) imposing a new law stating that all videos using a "paid product promotion" must be signposted to both YouTube and the audience clearly. Since neither Trevor nor Tom ever specified that their gambling videos were sponsored or that they were in fact the sole owners of the betting site, there are no questions as to whether or not their videos violated the FTC guidelines.
Fans have also been troubled over the YouTubers and their involvement with CS:GO Lotto since as far back as October 2015 with TmarTn recently admiting his ownership in the site, but clarifying that it was never kept a secret from his fans in a now deleted YouTube video. But don't worry if you didn't see it, because Ethan Klein over at h3h3Production just blew the whole story wide open with his viral video "Deception, Lies, and CSGO", which exposes both Trevor and Tom as liars. You can check out the video below which has taken the gaming industry by storm.
On both Tom and Trevor's YouTube channels, videos promoting the gambling site have been quickly privatised with TmarTn saying he will release an "official statement" on the 5th of July regarding the incident. In response, the Marketplace that freely hosted the website have started warning their users about CS:GO Lotto as their Terms and Conditions may have inadvertently allowed minors to gamble via their platform; "The URL you are attempting to log in to has been blocked by our moderators and staff".
Syndicate has since taken to Twitter to clarify his involvement with the situation following Ethan's video started trending worldwide, and whilst you can see his brief statement below, he seems to be saying nothing further on the matter. Further concerns will hopefully be answered in the next few days regarding the potentially misleading nature of their CS:GO Lotto videos, in which young viewers may have been scammed into believing they could "win big" after both Tom and Trevor's winnings were seemingly inflated and the betting system may have been rigged in order to create incising videos.
I apologize to anyone who feels mislead regarding the ownership of @CSGOLotto. I will always be more transparent from here on out!— Tom (@ProSyndicate) July 4, 2016
I do however stand very firmly behind the fact that @CSGOLotto has never & will never scam/steal from players.— Tom (@ProSyndicate) July 4, 2016
I've always disclosed that my CSGO videos were sponsored & even asked a YouTube employee if anything more was needed & they said it wasn't.— Tom (@ProSyndicate) July 4, 2016
We'll keep you updated as to when TmarTn releases his official statement, however if you want to see what else YouTubers have been up to over the last seven days - don't forget to check out our SLAY or NAY series! We roundup all the best news and gossip from the YouTube community over the last week and squish it into a handy 50-second video just for your viewing pleasure.