Update: Both have pled Not Guilty as of October 14th. You can read our report on it here.
Original Story Below:
Today marks the first time we have seen criminal charges brought in the case of video game gambling. In the UK today, Craig Douglas, better known as NepentheZ, and Dylan Rigby were charged by the UK gambling commission. Douglas is charged with advertising unlawful gambling and inviting children to gamble, while Rigby is charged with the provision of facilities for gambling and advertising unlawful gambling. As the gambling commission notes in their official release on the situation, the alleged conduct involves the use of a virtual currency.
Futgalaxy as a site appears to function by letting you deposit your Fifa futcoins and bet on real life sports (especially Soccer) matches, as well as Fifa video game matches. You can buy packs using credit there as well, which contain various cards for Fifa, and there is a jackpot betting game as well comparable to CSGO Jackpot games. These can be withdrawn to the latest Fifa, and if they aren't by the time the latest one starts coming about, they'll be transferred to the newer one—they will be transferring all coins to Fifa 17 with a 25% conversion rate.
EA has attempted to crack down on coin purchasing and gambling sites in the past. They've warned people that using them can lead to account bannings, and last summer they actually banned several users who were promoting it, including Craig Douglas while he was streaming.
Futgalaxy appears to be owned by Game Gold Trading Limited, a company registered in Essex (where both Douglas and Rigby are from), which features both Dylan Rigby and a Craig Duncan Douglas on the board. Craig Duncan Douglas was added as Director in October, 2015 and is listed as someone who has the right to, or exercises, significant influence or control over the company. At this point, we cannot definitively confirm that Craig Duncan Douglas is NepentheZ, as Craig Douglas is not that unusual a name. However, it would take an inordinate amount of coincidences for them not to be, such as both being connected to Futgalaxy, both residing in Essex, both being born in October 1984, and both being connected to Dylan Rigby for it not to be the same person.
Douglas' YouTube channel, NepentheZ, has over 1.3 million subscribers and focuses heavily on Fifa games. He has done some videos that focused on opening packs or jackpots using Futgalaxy, and it has no disclosure or mention of his interest in the company, even in in ones hosted in December 2015 after becoming a director of the company. This is very reminiscent of the situation around CSGO Lotto and the promotion of a site by a YouTuber that they had interest in without disclosure. Douglas confirmed on Twitter that he was indeed the Craig Douglas mentioned, although he later deleted the tweet.
Dylan Rigby, on the other hand, owns 75% or more of Game Gold Trading Limited and is the leading partner. His history is not as a YouTuber, but instead more in business and esports. In particular, it is interesting to note that Rigby is connected to Ares Esports as well. He was one of the founders of it, with a 33% share in it on its creation that gave him one-third control in equal partnership with Nelson Hauk and Callum Airey. Ares shut down its League of Legends team earlier this year.
Rigby and Douglas will appear before the Magistrates' Court again on October 14th. TechRaptor will keep up to date on this case and bring more information as more emerges.