The Federal Trade Commission has announced that two of the biggest offenders in the CS:GO gambling investigation, Trevor "TMartin" Martin and Thomas "ProSyndicate" Cassell, had settled the case against them. Although the settlement does mean that both Youtubers will be required to follow the FTC's guidelines moving forward, neither have had to pay any sort of compensation for their unscrupulous actions nor will they have to admit any sort of guilt, which would have potentially left them legally vulnerable to a civil suit.
The case in question involves these two Youtubers and a number of other "influencers" on the video streaming site and on social media. Together and individually, they advertised the CS:GO Lotto website, claiming that in gambling skins from CS:GO there, their viewers stood a good chance of winning big prizes. However, neither TMartn or ProSyndicate revealed that they had an ownewship stake in the site and therefore may have been able to manipulate their own gambling on the site to make it appear as if winning was easier than it was.
With that dishonesty combined with their relatively young audience on Youtube, they were also accused of promoting gambling to children, which could have lead to heavy penalties. However, in the settlement, while not admitting guilt, both men will be required to have much stricter practices related to CS:GO gambling in the future. If they do promote any site they have a stake in they must make it very clear to their viewers.
“Consumers need to know when social media influencers are being paid or have any other material connection to the brands endorsed in their posts,” says FTC Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen (via PCGamesN). “This action, the FTC’s first against individual influencers, should send a message that such connections must be clearly disclosed so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions.”
The original FTC action also alleged that both men had paid some other Youtube influencers upwards of $50,000 to promote the CS:GO Lotto site on Twitter and in their videos. The FTC has contacted many of those social media influencers in turn with warning and educational letters to make sure that they are aware of the guidelines and laws relating to advertising without disclosure.
It all seems rather paltry but perhaps this will result in more honest Youtuber in the future. Somehow I doubt it.
Image Source: Gamezone