YouTube star Nepenthez fined for running Fifa online gambling site used by children

Fined: Craig Douglas pleaded guilty to a number of gambling offences: Nepenthez
Fined: Craig Douglas pleaded guilty to a number of gambling offences: Nepenthez

A YouTube star and his business partner have been fined for running a gambling website connected to football game Fifa.

Well-known gamer Craig Douglas, 32, and Dylan Rigby, 33, ran a site that enabled children to bet using the virtual currency of the football video game.

They both pleading guilty to offences under the UK's Gambling Act. Douglas was fined £91,000 and Rigby was ordered to pay £164,000.

Douglas, otherwise known as Nepenthez, promoted the site on his YouTube channel which has more than 1.3 million subscribers.

The site, called FUT Galaxy, let people transfer the virtual currency from the Fifa game to place real-life bets – with winnings transferrable back to the game.

But the Fifa currency can also be sold online, giving it a real-life value.

The site is not unique – with the video game-gambling business thought to be worth billions of pounds.

Sarah Harrison, chief executive of the UK's gambling commission, told the BBC: "This was one of the most serious cases that has been investigated and prosecuted by the commission.

"Its gravity is reflected in the significant financial penalties imposed by the judge.”

She added that the impact online gambling had on children was "horrific" and "serious".

Both Douglas, from Dorset, and Rigby, from Essex, admitted to charges connected to the provision of facilities for gambling without a license and the advertising of illegal gambling.

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