FIFA Gambling Leads to YouTuber Being Charged in Court in Landmark Ruling

FIFA gambling has been ruled a crime by a UK court in a landmark case.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

A popular YouTuber has pleaded guilty over setting up a FIFA gambling site without a valid license, with them awaiting sentencing in the latest episode of video game betting having real-world implications.

Craig Douglas, known by his alias Nepenthez on YouTube, set up a website named FUT Galaxy with co-defendant Dylan Rigby, that allowed users to transfer virtual currency from FIFA 17 and use it to bet on football matches. FUT Galaxy became well-known in the FIFA community, with users able to sell FIFA 17‘s virtual coins in an online black market, giving them a monetary value that led to Nepenthez and Rigby being charged in court.

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Nepenthez and Rigby previously pleaded not guilty, though changed their plea in court earlier today. According to the Gambling Act 2005, the pair could face 51 weeks in prison and a fine of up to £5,000 for each charge (via PCGamesN). This is the first time the UK’s gambling commission has prosecuted people for running a betting site related to a video game, according to the BBC.

FIFA-17-Guide-Reus

Gambling in FIFA makes use of the virtual coins used to buy players for the game’s Ultimate Team mode. While these coins are purchased in-game and can’t be converted back into real-world currency, unofficial websites allow players to exchange the game’s currency for real money in order to use it to gamble, similar to casino chips.

Nepenthez posted a series of tweets regarding the court case, saying: “The worst year of my life concluded today. I have so much to say, but you’ll take whatever judgement you feel needed from the press.”

He added: “I’ll upload a video in due course presenting my side of the story. The facts remain I plead guilty to 2 charges, and a substantial fine … was the outcome. I’d like once again to apologise to everyone and thank you all for being a part of my life. May our journey go forth.”

Nepenthez and Dylan Rigby now await sentencing.