Two popular U.K.-based YouTubers have been charged by the UK Gambling Commission — a regulatory body in Great Britain — with promoting illegal gambling. The creators — Craig Douglas (whose FIFA-focused NepentheZ channel has more than 1.3 million subscribers) and Dylan Rigby (whose FUTgalaxy channel has since been deactivated) — create content about the popular FIFA soccer video game, and have come under scrutiny for promoting gambling around so-called in-game virtual coins, which can be bought, won, traded, and converted into actual money.
The charges represent the first case brought by the UK Gambling Commission against video game betting, according to Wired. While Douglas was charged with inviting children to gamble, Rigby was charged with providing gambling facilities. Douglas and Rigby appeared in court last week, and the case will resume on Oct. 14.
“Fun day on social media,” Douglas tweeted on Friday in response to the news. “Unfortunately can’t talk about it at this moment in time, you’ll be the first to know when I can. I appreciate those who has reserved judgment without the full story, but fully understand those who haven’t.”
The case smacks of a similar controversy in which prominent gaming creators The Syndicate Project and TmarTn were accused earlier this year by fellow members of the YouTube community of promoting their own gambling website for the first-person shooter game Counter Strike: Global Offensive without disclosing that they owned it. The legal action in the U.K. marks the Gambling Commission’s first efforts to clamp down on the increasingly popular practice of video game gambling, which represents a roughly $5 billion business worldwide, according to Wired.