Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.
Let me make one thing clear. I hate YouTube drama, it usually revolves around what YouTuber did something stupid today or who insulted who today. Most of the time, it's just stupid drama, but something comes up that's actually important and affects the gaming community.
For those of you who don't know there were some Popular YouTubers Implicated in Counter-Strike Betting Scandal, long story short. Youtubers Trevor Martin (TmartN) and Tom Cassell (ProSyndicate) made videos promoting the site, "CSGOLOTTO.com."
In TmartN's video he said, "We found this new site [...] I ended up following them on Twitter and stuff, and they hit me up, and they're talking to me about potentially doing like a skin sponsorship."
Trevor Martain said these words in his video, "How to Win $13,000 in 5 Minutes" he has since removed the video, but it's been re-uploaded.
The Site is called CSGOLOTTO.com and Trevor showed their many viewers how to gamble on it, using Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skins, or "in-game cosmetic designs for guns and knives". You would connect your Steam account to the site where you would bet your skins against other users skins and the winner would take all their skins. These skins had an assigned dollar value to them because Steam, the gaming platform owned by Valve has a marketplace where you can sell in-game items for your "Steam Wallet" in order to buy games or DLC.
They also had ways to exchange their in-game items for cash, something that is against Steam's terms of service.
Another YouTuber named HonorTheCall made a video exposing the fact that Trever Martin did not "find" the site he owns the site!
Explaining Disclosure For YouTube Partners Who Make Paid Video Content:
For people who do not have YouTube channels, I'll explain something about paid content on YouTube. A company will approach a YouTuber, mainly a large channel with a huge subscriber count and contact them saying they will pay them an amount of money to advertise 'x" on their channel, and the YouTuber will make a video promoting "x" product.
Under the FTC guidelines when it comes to online video advertisements, you must disclose that the video the viewer is watching is a paid advertisement. It must be visible, where it can be seen and heard by the viewer so that they know they are watching an advertisement.
Watching Total Biscuit's video below will help you understand how disclosure works for advertising and when YouTubers are paid by companies for paid content and how they are supposed to inform you, the viewer that what you are watching is basically an advertisement.
Tmartn Tries to Deceive Others, Cover His Tracks Constantly!
TmartN attacked HonorTheCall accusing him of spreading misinformation and asking him how he could "sleep at night."
Initially this story didn't make waves, until YouTube channel H3H3 Productions talked about the video, a large YouTube channel with over 1 million subscribers, now everyone knew about CSGOLOTTO.
TmartN tried to save himself by issuing an "apology" in what PC Gamer called "the worst apology ever".
He said that it was public knowledge that he owned CSGOLOTTO, and while it's true that it is website's business information is public, no 13-year-old I know is going to be searching Statelog.com for CSGOLOTTO Orlando Florida.
TmartN quickly removed the video, but not before someone got it and re-uploaded it later.
He was then added to a second lawsuit filed against Valve regarding Counter Strike: Global offensive, along with fellow YouTuber, Tom Cassell.
He also disabled his comments and likes/dislikes bar, along with altering video descriptions to make it appear that he had disclosed information in the description. Internet time machines and archives can show you the disclosures were never there to begin with! After he “fixed” his descriptions he enabled comments, likes and dislikes again.
He does this whenever he sticks his foot in his mouth on YouTube, I've caught him doing it. On YouTube I'm known as GuardianSoulBlade although my onscreen URL is the same as my penname. The first video he makes where he pretends to be that happy-go-lucky guy his audience sees, he made a flippant joke about how his newest Call of Duty video Black Ops 3 was not "sponsored by Call Of Duty" (It's very well known that Activision does a lot of paid content videos with him).
After being called out by me and many others that he shouldn't make jokes about what brought about his lawsuit, I ripped the video for posterity, and it's a good thing I did, because I checked the video later and I found where he cut the audio so he cut out the insensitive, flippant joke that he made towards something that could ruin his life.
He also blocked me from seeing his feed or replying to him on Twitter, which I rendered useless ine one minute by making another account, that I won't use to interact with him on, but I can still see his Tweets, which by default makes blocking me on Twitter useless, I can easily see all his tweets when I log out!
Not smart to block a member of the press! You just love digging yourself into holes don't you? By the way, he blocks anyone who criticizes him, so this is not new.
As of July 30, CSGOLOTTO is still online, it's supposed to be taken down by today after Valve sent Cease and Desist letters to 23 Counter Strike: Global Offensive skin gambling websites.
Good news, all the sites have been shut down, and even better news, now Steam users from other countries can join the class action lawsuit against CS:GO gambling websites!
Non-U.S. Citiens Can Now Join The Lawsuit!
Open Book of Answers, Yeah, Right!
How Does This Affect Me As A YouTube Viewer?
You're probably reading this and saying, "This doesn't affect me, I don't play videogames, You might not play videogames, but you do watch YouTube.
For the gaming community, YouTube is a place where we can talk about the latest games, whether or not it's good, and if we should buy it. Now publishers have noticed this and taken advantage of it by offering YouTubers, big and smaller mind you, brand deals and paid content sponsorships.
Taking paid brand deals is fine, as long as you disclose everything. What set off this whole firestorm is that Trevor Martin did not disclose he was gambling for in-game skins on his own website, and with any casino, you know, the owners never gamble at their own casino.
Whether he rigged the site to show him winning big or not doesn't matter, what he did was deceptive, convincing these gullible teens, and yes I say gullible, because reactions are very easy to fake, that they could win big on the site, that he owned and never disclosed. he Everyone using the site would benefit him because the site earned him $1,000,000 in a month!
This affects you the viewer because when you watch these YouTubers videos, you're giving them money when you stay you stand with them, you don't care about their lack of integrity.
Encouraging illegal behavior by lying to your audience is not a "little mistake" that can be swept away with an insincere apology video.
We gamers have always seen YouTubers as the "normal, average guy who plays videogames and talks about them" just like we do, but GamerSutra did a poll of 40 YouTubers, ranging from smaller channels to bigger ones and out of 40 of them, a quarter did paid brand deals. Multiply that by thousands and that's potentially, a lot more channels taking brand deals that you thought.
Now brand deals aren't bad, as long as you disclose them, but many YouTubers don't, which violates FTC guidelines on internet video advertising. YouTubers are afraid of being labeled a "sellout" because they do paid content on their channel. There's a saying about IGN, "That publisher paid for that good reviews on IGN," and big YouTube channels don't want to be known as the "paid for good reviews" guy on YouTube
I will never do paid content my own YouTube channel, but I have gotten free Steam keys on Keymailer, but I haven't covered any games I've gotten free on my channel yet. I'm also not big enough to be eligible for paid content on YouTube anyway,
We all believe that YouTubers are good, honest people, but when money becomes a thing, people can become very greedy, and greed leads to dishonesty.
TmartN's not a poor person either, he made millions on his YouTube, he made even more on CSGOLOTTO.com, and he did it by lying to his audience, the people who are giving him ad revenue by watching his videos, buying his shirts, he already had a ton of money from YouTube, he didn't need more off the backs of underage teens. Underage gambling is also a crime.
This affects you the viewer because when you support these dishonest, greedy YouTubers by watching their videos, saying you support them, you're supporting unscrupulous people who are promoting destructive behavior!
Gambling Is Destructive Behavior, and Trevor Martin, Tom Cassell, and Many Others Encouraged Teens To Gamble!
Gambling is a self-destructive habit that can ruin people financially. I'm firmly against gambling because it burns a hole in your bank account. But if you're old enough to gamble, that's your legal right to gamble.
But gambling is awful because of what it does to people, you keep seeing all those old ladies at the slot machines in the casino, pulling the lever hoping they'll get lucky. CS: GO betting could very well lead into "real world" betting if they get addicted to gambling, But the thing about slot machines is, they're always rigged against you, so you can never win.
If you become addicted to gambling as a teenager, that's going to be a very bad thing for your life.
These Counter Strike Global Offensive gambling sites thought they could get around the legal system because no real currency was being exchanged, but they had ways of turning Steam wallet money into cash So they made millions.
It took two class action lawsuits for Valve to do something about it because these sites had been up for years. But at the end of this month 23 CS: GO gambling sites, including CSGOLOTTO are supposed to cease operation. I will keep you updated on that.
Valve Let This Go on For Years!
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gambling has been going on for a long time, and Valve did nothing, sometimes the would ban a group, but then the ban was lifted.But these sites operated for years, gambling away and earning millions of dollars for the creators of as HonorTheCall coined the.phrase, "kids casinos", because a majority of people playing the M-rated game are teenagers, below the age of 17.
It's sad that Valve didn't do anything at all until they were hit with two separate lawsuits over the in-game skin gambling, then they did something about it, updating the in-game trading terms of service and sending cease and desist letters to 23 of the CSGO gambling sites, including CSGOLOTTO.com, which hasn't been shut down yet, should has been ordered to by the end of this month, I will keep you updated on that.
YouTube Viewers, Stop Having The Memory Of A Goldfish!
But many of TmartN's followers are like, "Stop talking about this already! Let's just move on! It's over!"
I'm sorry gentlemen and ladies, but something this big can't just be "over", there are still two class action lawsuits against him. And that's not something that just "goes away", You should care about the honesty and integrity of the people you're watching, because you don't want to be shilled something just because Trevor Martin and Tom Cassel and Josh Beaver, told you that using an in-game skin gambling site was "cool".
The fact that you the viewer have no problem with someone lying to you just because they're famous, there's something wrong with your moral compass!
We Won't Let You Gamers Forget it, Because YouTubers Should ALWAYS Be Honest With You!
People are already insisting HonorTheCall stop taking about TmartN, but we shouldn't forget about it because people you should always be honest with others, whether it's regarding entertainment like gaming or running a business that doesn't involve YouTube.
If you're a YouTuber, it's okay to do brand deals, but we the viewer expect you to give us your honest opinion, but if you take that brand deal, you are obligated under FTC guidelines to disclose that, because lack of disclosure led to their shady videos being exposed by HonorTheCall and H3H3 Productions.
Multiple lawsuits against Valve, Trevor Martin, Tom Cassel and all the other CSGO gambling websites for illegal gambling allegations.
I contacted Honor The Call on his Twitter and he told me that viewers should still care because "There's a class action lawsuit against him".
Class action lawsuits are not something to take lightly. Unfortunately, some of his younger viewers don't understand that. Many viewers are scared that their favorite Call Of Duty player is going to jail.
If he ends up in jail, he brought it on himself. He swore on the life of Cooper his dog, he wasn't lying to you. I feel sorry for the dog.
All of these YouTubers earn more money than the average working American, and they ruined their reputations because they were so greedy for more of it!
Trevor Martin, you're disgusting, if you had been honest from the time you created your CSGOLOTTO gambling video, you wouldn't be getting sued right now.
You're definitely going to be in one of those American Greed episodes.
The Court Case Was Dismissed, But Gamers Should Learn A Lesson!
GamerSutra reported that the lawsuit was dismissed on October 5, 2016, but I hope that gamers will learn that wasting money online to win skins is stupid, especially when it was rigged against them. Maybe they'll be a little more skeptical of YouTubers that promote their online site, just so they can earn money. not exchanged. Those items cost real money, and people shouldn't spend money on something just to risk it on betting on an online site.
The FTC Settled with TmarTN and ProSyndicate, But You Should Always be Wary of YouTubers trying to Sell You Things!
On September 7, 2017, the FTC settled with the two large YouTube channels, here's an excerpt from the ESPN article:
According to the agreement, which was published by the FTC on Tuesday, there will be no fine issued to Martin or Cassell for violating the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Act, which requires full disclosure of any relationship that a video creator might have with a product he or she is promoting. If Martin or Cassell violates that law again, though, they will be subject to fines that total $40,654 per infraction.
While this doesn't help anyone who lost money on in-game skins or people who developed a gambling addiction thanks to these jerks this has at least set a precedent that large influential YouTubers have to abide by FTC guidelines just like everyone else who makes advertisements and video promotions.
If a YouTuber is trying to sell you something shady, they're probably profiting off it in some way.
This also affects brands looking to sponsor YouTubers to promote products, because if the YouTuber is shady and you pay them money, you'll be seen as shady too. And with the Adpocalypse going on, it's only going to get worse for advertisers and YouTubers alike.
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