Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

There’s a general rule of thumb when you’re promoting something online: If you have any affiliation with the thing you’re promoting, disclose this information to those whom you’re promoting it to, otherwise things could get messy. And that’s exactly what’s happened to two YouTube creators, Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Tom “ProSyndicate” Cassell.

Martin and Cassell have come under fire today following a video by h3h3 Productions going live which essentially reveals that they’ve been actively promoting a CS:GO gambling website, which they own and have failed to disclose.

The video, which you can see below, shows some damning evidence that the two creators have been promoting the website, a site which allows players to gamble CS:GO weapons in the hopes of getting something much better in return, namely cash…

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In the past, the two have been seen to post videos (without disclosure) of them betting weapon skins on the website and winning large sums of cash in return, reacting with surprise when they do.

However, many allegations have come to light to suggest that these videos were staged, and that they were just attempts to get viewers, most of which look up to and even idolise the two, to gamble weapon skins (which themselves cost money) in an attempt to win big, just like they did.

The non-disclosure aside, what makes this situation even more appalling is that websites such as this, which gamble in CS:GO weapon skins, aren’t held to the same standards as other gambling sites, specifically, there are no regulations on age when using such sites. And considering CS:GO has a pretty young audience, there’s a high chance that under-age users are getting into gambling, which in many countries is pretty illegal.

Since the video came to light, it’s been circulating online fairly rapidly and both Martin and Cassell have spoken out about the ordeal, with Martin posing a video addressing the situation, only to then delete the video soon after. Martin has also retroactively added disclaimers to the video descriptions of his CS:GOLotto videos.

“What’s breaking news now is that myself and a few other people including [ProSyndicate] own CSGOLotto. This is something that has never been a secret. I don’t understand why it’s breaking new now,” he said. “It’s never been under wraps. It’s never been secret. We’ve never gone around bragging about it saying, ‘Oh yeah we own the site’ all over social media. But it’s also never been a secret, it’s been mentioned in videos before, on livestreams before … it’s never been this big scary, hidden thing that people are making it out to be.”

However, h3h3Productions have said that their researchers have found zero evidence of either Martin or Cassell disclosing that the site is indeed owned by themselves and have even proved that the two have promoted themselves as patrons of the website showing Martin actually claiming that he discovered “this new website”. Not only that, the video which sparked it all found business filings to prove that the two have owned the site from day-one.

Cassell on the other hand has been a little quieter about the whole thing, posting a few tweets and then signing off for the evening.

This isn’t the first time that CS:GO has come under fire for its ability to create a gambling ecosystem with the way that weapon skins are being handled, and this is just the latest in a string of complaints about the problems caused by this system.

However, this is the first time that two very influential members of the gaming community have used this system to potentially exploit their fans into actively using a website with his associated with themselves.

Aside from the legal issues, this goes directly against YouTube’s policy, and many are looking for YouTube to look into the matter.

Interestingly, since this all kicked off, Steam has now actively started warning users against using the site and at time of writing has fully blocked the website from being liked within Steam, though users can still disregard Steam’s warning and continue onto the website.

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