A Birmingham judge took a dim view of two men who ran afoul of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Craig Douglas and Dylan Rigby could have faced jail time, but were ordered to pay a fine and court costs. Rigby was fined approximately $217,000, while Douglas has to pay around $114,000.
The pair initially pled not guilty to the charges, but recently changed their minds. Douglas accepted the claim that he was being an officer of a firm that provided facilities for gambling without an operating license and advertising unlawful gambling. Rigby admitted to two counts of being connected to the provision of facilities for gambling and also for advertising illegal gambling.
After the hearing, Douglas apologized on his Twitter account.
“I owe a huge apology to my family and close friends for putting them through this process, and appreciate all those that stood by me,” Douglas wrote.
Betting on FIFA
The two owned a gambling site called FUT Galaxy and were allowing people to bet on real soccer matches. They advertised the site on a YouTube Channel owned by Douglas, without informing viewers that they possessed the wagering site.
Players of all ages were allowed to transfer virtual currency out of the FIFA 17 video game, and use it to bet on real-life football games, according to the UK’s BBC. Winnings could then be transferred back in to the FIFA 17 video game. The FIFA virtual currency can also be sold on an online black market, giving the virtual coins real-world value, like casino chips. People of all ages were also using credit cards.
The pair were discovered when a mother overheard her teenage son bragging to his friends that he was placing bets on the website.
Similar Case in United States
Two American gamers face civil, but not criminal, legal action in regards to a website they owned.
Trevor Martin and Tom Cassell, known online as TmarTn and Syndicate Project, uploaded videos of themselves winning cash on the site CSGO Lotto. It was later discovered they owned the site. A video was made apologizing, but was taken down soon after it was shown.
Minors were allegedly targeted on the site and one Florida mother has brought a class-action lawsuit against the two.