While everyone is talking about the growth of the esports, it goes without saying that the regulators have been taking very little action to make betting on electronic sports safes. Well, things have changed, at least in the UK. Recently, United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has taken action against the video game betting site for the first time in its history.
As reported on Norske Casino website, Craig Douglas and Dylan Rigby have been fined a total of 255,000 GBP for running a website that allows people to bet on the virtual football games by using a FIFA in game currency. Apart from running this site, Craig Douglas was leading a famous YouTube channel with over 1,300,000 subscribers, which was the main traffic driver to the gambling website.
Even though the size of the penalty may sound horrifying, the main reason for taking action and issuing a fine by UKGC of nearly 320,000 USD is the audience. Unlike regular betting sites that target players of a proper age, the court believes that the video game betters are often underaged.
Still, some people may have an obvious doubt. If the players had to place bets using virtual in-game currency, why is there any penalty at all? Video gaming is actually a billion dollar industry and there is quite some demand for the gaming money, the virtual currency can actually be sold both online and offline. Hence, it does have a monetary value.
Craig Douglas and Dylan Rigby developed a website that accepted deposits from the FIFA game and allowed betting on various football video games. As a result, both Craig Douglas and Dylan Rigby were charged with operating gambling facilities without a license and advertising illegal gambling. Craig Douglas was fined a total of 91,000 GBP and Dylan Rigby received a fine of 164,000 GBP.