In September, we reported that the first ever video game gambling charges in the UK had been brought against the Youtuber NepentheZ (also known as Craig Douglas) and his associate Dylan Rigby. The preliminary hearing was set for the Friday the 14th of October, and the UK Gambling Commission have now released an update on the case, stating that both men plead ‘not guilty’ to all charges. The matter will now go to trial, the date is set for the 6th of February 2017, at Birmingham magistrates court. Refresh yourself on the original report here, or take in our quick overview below.
For those who might have missed this news the first time around; Douglas was charged with advertising unlawful gambling and inviting children to gamble, while Rigby was charged with the provision of facilities for gambling and advertising unlawful gambling. The charges were brought in relation to the FUT coin gambling site Futgalaxy.com in which both men appear to hold business interests through parent company Game Gold Tradings Limited.
It’s worth noting that the charges currently brought against the pair make no mention of the fact that Douglas also appears to have broadcast videos advertising the gambling site on his Youtube channel, after being named as a director in October 2015, without disclosing his interest in the business. A quick search of Youtube from a UK domain will currently give a message stating that the videos are unavailable due to a legal complaint from the UK government.
The case could set a precedent for future cases of this type, and open the door to regulation of virtual currency/in-game item gambling. The ongoing case brings comparisons to the recent CS:GO skin trading legal case involving Youtubers Trevor Martin and Tom Cassell, who are also accused of promoting their own gambling site without disclosing their interests. That case also prompted action against Valve directly. Of course, both cases are being tried in separate legal systems so the outcomes may not be commensurate.
Again, the next court date is set for the 6th of February 2017. TechRaptor is following this case closely, and we will bring you any updates as soon as we get them.