In an “Ask Us Anything” session on the the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sub-Reddit, attorneys Bryce Blum, Ryan Morrison and Jeff Ifrah who work within the e-sports industry answered questions regarding gambling in video games, and the recent scandal involving CS: GO Lotto and SteamLoto.
One individual asked if there would be a chance that the individuals involved with the CS: GO Lotto scandal, owners Trevor A. Martin, Tom Cassell and Trevor Beaver, would be “punished” for defrauding viewers and soliciting minors to gamble (which is illegal in the state of Florida).
According to Ryan Morrison, under the handle VideoGameAttorney, he stated…
“I think [a civil suit] is a definite, as I’ve received over 75 emails from people wanting to sue TMartn specifically (they are in his videos, losing to him). They used to think it was a cool video to have. Now it’s proof of fraud (in their minds). So if my firm doesn’t lead that litigation, another firm will.”
The video Morrison is referring to is one where Trevor A. Martin staged a session of him winning big earnings from the CS: GO Lotto website; $13,000 to be exact. However, Martin did not disclose in the video that he owns the website and that it was not just a random site he came across.
While proof of rigging still isn’t quite definite, it was revealed in a separate case that SteamLoto – another gambling website based out of Russia – did use their backend to rig the winnings for YouTuber Lewis “PsiSyndicate” Stewart, staging it to make it look as if it’s possible to win rare items by gambling on them. The rigging and plotting was revealed in a series of e-mails that Stewart sent to citizen journalist Nick Monroe. This has led many to believe that the CS: GO Lotto videos showing Trevor A. Martin and others who have financial equity in the business possibly rigging their win rates.
Nevertheless, some individuals believe that the sites and scams operating outside of the United States will be able to escape legal prosecution or felony charges, however the FTC confirmed in a phone conversation that they do have jurisdiction to investigate and go after international businesses outside of the U.S., if a citizen of the U.S., has been defrauded by foreign companies.
Morrison, nevertheless, went on to say that some district attorney could make a career case out of this if they decided to make it high-profile (especially considering that state and federal laws were breached), writing…
“As for [a criminal case], there are far fewer stories more “juicy” than stealing millions of dollars from children. Some DA in some state will view this as a great career growth opportunity or, more ideally, actually be a good person and want to stop this insanity. Either way, I think that’s going to happen as well.
“And hell, why not throw in another FTC fine as well :)”
Well, as far as the “FTC fine” is concerned… the Federal Trade Commission has already confirmed that they’re well aware of this particular case.