One of the biggest things on the gaming scene in the YouTube community is Counter Strike: Global Offense. Counter Strike has been a massive shooter on PC for year and has constantly evolved to compete with the other FPS giants like Call of Duty and Battlefield. Among the evolutions in the series, the most recent entry, Counter Strike: Global Offense, brought in microtransactions and weapon variants. The thing that really draws players in is pretty weapons that stand out on the battlefield, players can sell these items on Steam to other players from anywhere from a penny to thousands of dollars and yes, people actually pay thousands of dollars for these purely cosmetic items. Think of it as someone who collects stamps. Now I don't want to offend people who collect stamps, but really, who goes out and collects stamps or pays hundreds of dollars for things you stick on an envelope? What the hell do you do with these stamps you're collecting? Just put them in a frame? That's essentially the same argument you could make with the guns that people are buying in CS:GO. They're cosmetic. Yeah you can use them in game, but it's just a skin over the regular default version of the weapon.
With this evolution brought gambling sites. Since you aren't winning money technically, you are winning weapons which you can trade to players for real money, legally speaking anyone can do it including children. It's a shady market and YouTubers have made video series where they gamble away their best weapons and lose or win (usually lose) tens of thousands of dollars. Two of these YouTubers, Trevor Martin (Tmartn) and Tom Cassell (Pro Syndicate), who were making these videos were not only promoting one of these gambling sites (CS:GO Lotto) without disclosing but they OWN the site. The two always made it look and sound as if they were just fans of the site and weren't getting any benefit from it, but in reality they were gambling on their own site where the money would just go back into their own pocket so it didn't matter if they won or lost. Not to mention, as owners of the site, if they really wanted to they could go into the backend of the site and change the odds of them winning!
These two YouTubers are massive and have millions of subs, a large amount of which are children under the age of 18. Not only is this just giving children insane amounts of money, but it's also creating gambling habits at ages as young as 13. Gambling addictions is a massive issue for adults and has a huge impact on their mental health, and this is people who are doing it legally! Martin and Cassel are such influences for these children that they could get the wrong idea, and get addicted to gambling. It's irresponsible for these two to be promoting it, nonetheless be one of the master minds behind the problem.
Even after being exposed by YouTubers HonorTheCall and h3h3productions, the two deceptive liars continue to lie by saying when they originally started gambling on YouTube they didn't own the site. They started making the videos to see if it would be a good business venture and eventually decided to take part in the business. However, official business documents say they have been the owners the whole time and Martin was the one who even filed the papers.
It's sad to see these influential YouTubers being so deceptive and irresponsible on this platform. Hopefully this is the last time we will see something like this happen, but I wouldn't be surprised if similar stuff happened in the future.