Update: Following Tmartn and ProSyndicate scandal another well known YouTuber, PsiSyndicate, has admitted to similar actions. Here’s his video confession:
Original Story: In the past few years the rise of eSports has fueled the creation of many gambling websites. One of the leading games used by these websites is CS:GO (Counter Strike: Global Offensive).
GabeN, the man behind Valve and Steam, has a good reputation among the community but even he isn’t an exception when it comes to controversy, thanks to how his company handles Counter Strike gambling and actually enables the community to be a part of it.
Online gambling is now a $2.3 billion industry, according to a recent Bloomberg article. Everyone is trying to tap-into it which makes it ripe for cheating, fraud and scams.
The root of the problem stems from how Micro Transactions are handled in CS:GO. You get cosmetic items like skins for weapons which can go from 1 cent to over $4000. You obtain these skins by getting your hands on a key for $2.50 to open crates that randomly drop in the game.
These would drop more frequently if you do well in the game in my experience.
Here’s why I mentioned Valve is enabling the community to gamble. When you compare a slot machine to how you open crates they look identical side by side:
The difference here is that to operate a slot machine you need to be over the age of 21, however, that isn’t true for CS:GO crates but since skins aren’t money, Valve can avoid legal issues. However, these skins can be sold for real life money, so more rare a skin is the more money you make.
In short, Valve has created a very interesting loophole for itself.
Many CS:GO gambling websites have appeared that use a similar system to allow players to gamble using CS:GO skins. You put in your skins and do a coin toss to see who wins. It is like pooling your money together and seeing who takes it all.
Valve is believed to be involved in helping these websites, families have filed a class action lawsuit againts the company as it allows their underage children to gamble. Their children lost money on these websites that are completely unregulated.
This is where two very popular YouTubers come in – ProSyndicate and Tmartn. Both of these YouTubers have numerous gambling videos posted on their YouTube channels with a very “get rich quick” scheme like titles.
They both use the same website – CSGO Lotto – and shockingly, these two own this website. They have been promoting it for god knows how long without disclosing ownership. They have won thousands of dollars from this website, as shown in many of their videos, but as owners they have control over the outcome.
Their actions entice players to go over to the website and gamble, get rich quick and win money.
According to the company registration documents, Tmartn is president while ProSyndicate is vice president of CS:Go Lotto.
Not a single one of their videos disclosed ownership in the description or in the content itself. It is illegal to not disclose such information so legal action can be taken against both of these YouTubers. Their descriptions made it seem like the use of CS:GO Lotto in their videos was completely incidental and they happen to come across this website by chance.
It is highly likely they faked the results as they have control over the website and how things play out.
Once the news broke, Tmartn posted a video claiming that the ownership of this website and his involvement was never a secret. However, no one is able to find a single video on his channel that disclosed his ownership of CS:GO Lotto.
A YouTuber named HonorTheCall was the one who dug-deep into the matter and discovered the registration of the company.
Here’s a video of Tmartn from November 2015 where he mentions that “he found” this website. Skip to 12:47
What’s more interesting is that Tmartn has updated his descriptions to add the part about his ownership, which he claims was there all along but a quick look at Google Cache shows that he updated them recently.
Tmartn and Prosyndicate both have combined subscribers of over 10 million so you can imagine the influence these two have in the community.
Tmartn later claimed he wasn’t always involved with the website and only recently bought it, however, he is listed as the founder and incorporator of the website.
Valve is silent on the situation but it is possible that Youtube might take some action againts both but don’t hold your breath over it.