Gambling Commission Prosecutes YouTube Gamers
Two men who ran a betting website connected to the video game FIFA have received fines after pleading guilty to offences under the UK’s Gambling Act.
Craig Douglas and his business partner Dylan Rigby ran a website that allowed gamers to gamble virtual currency. They received fines of £91,000 and £164,000 respectively.
This is the first time that the UK’s gambling commission has prosecuted people for running an unlicensed gambling website connected to a video game.
Chief executive Sara Harrison said, “This was one of the most serious cases that has been investigated and prosecuted by the Commission. Its gravity is reflected in the significant financial penalties imposed by the Judge. This case demonstrates that we will use the full range of our statutory powers to investigate and prosecute individuals and companies who try to operate illegally.”
During the court case the effect on children of online gambling was described as “horrific” and “serious”.
The men ran a website called FUT Galaxy that allowed players to transfer virtual currency out of the FIFA 17 video game and use it to bet on real life football games. The winnings could then be transferred back into the video game.
However, the FIFA virtual currency can be sold at an online black market which gives it real world value.
There are a number of similar website which are connected to other video games and it has been suggested that the market is worth billions of pounds. However, if properly licensed then there is no reason these websites should be illegal.