Yesterday a more broad audience was exposed to the outright shadiness involved in the massive online business of Counter-Strike: GO weapon skins betting. In short, third-party websites offer up the ability to bet on skins outside of Steam, while using Steam authentication to make it all legal. These websites, as was uncovered, happened to be owned by several YouTube personalities failing to to disclose this information in promotional, sometimes rigged videos. And the net keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Since the H3H3 report from yesterday became massive news, the two YouTubers implicated – Trevor “Tmartn” Martin and Tom “ProSyndicate” Cassel – have both taken different approaches to avoiding blame and pleading ignorance on the matter. Most of Tmartin’s videos have no been made private following the report, with the personality taking to social media to explain himself. Martin doesn’t see fault in what they did, but maintains that he could’ve been more transparent.
I’ve admitted to wishing I was more upfront about owning the site. It was always public info but I was never very outspoken about it. My idea was to keep business business, while the focus of YouTube was simply making entertaining content. Obviously that was misleading to viewers and something I very much regret. I’ve never been perfect and I 100% own up to that mistake.
Despite that, Martin maintains that nothing he or Cassel did was illegal – despite also admitting that only “70 percent” of his promotional betting video were actually authentic. A figure that, surprise, has no way of even really being checked for fact.
Cassel reiterated Martin’ stance, saying that their website CS:GO Lotto was never intended to scam players, and has never been used to do so.
“I do however stand very firmly behind the fact that [CS:GO Lotto] has never and will never scam/steal from players.”
The problem here with Martin and Cassel owning the websites they shameless promote without disclosure runs deeper than advertising deception though. With access to the inner workings of the website, the two could effectively rig bets they partake in (yes, they bet on their own website) to ensure favourable outcomes for themselves. Neither have addressed or really admitted to that (which is incredibly illegal), but it has opened the floodgates to other incredibly similar cases.
PsiSyndicate, another YouTube CS:GO betting personality has admitted his own guilt in connection with another betting website, saying that bets were rigged in order to create promotional content. PsiSyndicate posted a video (below) admitting his guilt, saying that website Steamloto paid him to advertise skins while ensuring his winnings for the video. Neither were disclosed by PsiSyndicate, naturally.
Almost hilariously though, PsiSyndicate doesn’t cite a change in conscience as a reason for his admittance, but rather the inspiring actions taken by the aforementioned Martin and Cassel. PsiSyndicate admits that his dealings were deceptive but also maintains that nothing was illegal – essentially saying that these cases of honesty are only cropping up now because they were caught.
“YES, it looks dodgy, but the only way to REALLY expose someone is with evidence. The only way you’ll find that is through me/the owner of the website. So no, I didn’t do it for that reason, I did it because I realised I was stupid to even do it.”
This entire network is just unravelling itself minute by minute, and it turning into a mess for anyone involved. Of course the real victims here are the thousands that were lured into these websites to partake in bets that were possibly unfair, by people who used their system to market their favourable wins dishonestly. Just stay away from these things for your own safety.
Last Updated: July 5, 2016