Last year, YouTubers ‘TmarTn' and ‘ProSyndcate' found themselves at the centre of the CS:GO gambling controversy after the pair made separate videos promoting CSGO Lotto, without disclosing the fact that they owned the site. The videos in question may also have been rigged to show more favourable outcomes to attract viewers to the site. This sparked a lot of outrage but it seems the pair have managed to get away with it, as the US Federal Trade Commission has settled the case.
The settlement order was posted online over the weekend and makes no mention of any financial penalty. Instead, the FTC is sending out letters to a handful of social media influencers and calling for them to “clearly and conspicuously disclose any material connections with an endorser or between an endorser and any promoted service”.
The FTC's press release clearly lists how the CSGO Lotto scheme operated, with TmarTn and Syndicate posting videos with titles like “HOW TO WIN $13,000 IN 5 MINUTES (CS-GO Betting)” and “INSANE KNIFE BETS! (CS:GO Betting)”. The FTC does not make mention of these videos being potentially rigged but it did reveal that the two YouTubers paid other influencers anywhere between $2,500 and $55,000 to help promote the site while being prohibited from saying anything negative about it.
Here are the FTC's final words on the complaint against TmarTn and ProSyndicate: “The proposed order settling the FTC’s charges prohibits Martin, Cassell, and CSGOLotto, Inc. from misrepresenting that any endorser is an independent user or ordinary consumer of a product or service. The order also requires clear and conspicuous disclosures of any unexpected material connections with endorsers.”
KitGuru Says: This ruling seems very weak all around. TmarTn and Syndicate would have both made millions from CSGO Lotto, a service that was sold on the back of lies and trickery. Still, perhaps the CS:GO gambling controversy from last year will help serve as a warning for future games.