The UK's first criminal prosecution regarding video game gambling has ended with fines for the two men involved. According to The Guardian, YouTuber Craig "Nepenthez" Douglas and business partner Dylan Rigby pleaded guilty to charges that their website FUT Galaxy allowed children to illegally bet on real-world sports using in-game currency from EA's FIFA series.
Douglas was ordered to pay a £16,000 fine, as well as prosecution costs of £75,000, while Rigby was fined £24,000 and ordered to pay £150,000 in prosecution costs. Though both men pleased guilty to running and advertising an unlicensed gambling facility, Rigby was considered the "prime mover" behind the site, with Douglas' role more about promotion and advertising.
Each charge carried with it the possibility of imprisonment for a term of up to 51 weeks under the UK's 2005 Gambling Act.
In handing down the fines, district judge Jack McGarva noted, "The aggravating features of these offences are they were committed over a relatively long period of about six months. Children were gambling on your site. It's impossible for me to know how many or the effect on them. In my opinion, both of you were aware of the use of the site by children and the attractiveness of it to children. At the very least, you both turned a blind eye to it."
After the sentencing, Douglas posted an apology to his family, friends, and supporters on his Twitter account, saying, "The worst year of my life concluded today."