Published: Sun, September 10, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

YouTubers Who Promoted CSGO Gambling Site Without Disclosure Will Not Be Punished

YouTubers Who Promoted CSGO Gambling Site Without Disclosure Will Not Be Punished

The Commission order settling the charges requires Martin and Cassell to clearly and conspicuously disclose any material connections with an endorser or between an endorser and any promoted product or service. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $40,654. CSGO, or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is a free-to-play, first-person shooter created and run by Valve.

Martin and Cassell started CSGOLotto, Inc and its website in late 2015, according to the FTC.

"Consumers need to know when social media influencers are being paid or have any other material connection to the brands endorsed in their posts", Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen said in a statement.

Agreeing to this deal means the duo don't need to admit guilt, or pay a fine, but if they were to commit another offence in future they'd be charged more than $40,000 (which is about, £30,000 to us United Kingdom folk).

The Federal Trade Commission in several cases has faulted social media "influencers" for failing to disclose the payments behind their seemingly organic endorsements. Such skins can essentially be used as gambling chips, since they can exchanged at Valve's Steam Marketplace for real cash, with Valve taking a 15 percent cut.

Skins gambling sites offered betting through the use of decorative in-game items that adorn weapons in Counter-Strike.

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The settlement brings with it potential fines for breaking the FTC guidelines and detailed rules on record-keeping and compliance the company must follow.

The Federal Trade Comission today announced that prominent YouTubers TmarTn and Syndicate have settled charges of deceiving fans and viewers in the CS:GO Lotto gambling controversy.

The FTC also released an updated document with answers to frequently asked questions. The FTC clearly don't have the regulatory muscle to deal with this "new" form of gambling, and United States gambling regulation is also failing to adapt quickly enough to this development.

The FTC also claims it has sent letters to a further 21 social media influencers relating to the subject. Prior to this, the FTC has sent out letters warning influencers and brands of potential problems.

At no point does the FTC touch the issue that significant numbers of Martin and Cassell's audience are underage when it comes to gambling law.

This week, the FTC sent warning letters to 21 influential Instagram users, reminding them that if they've been paid for particular posts, they must disclose it.

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