A major controversy has blown up overnight, with major YouTubers ProSyndicate and TmarTn accused of promoting their own Counter Strike: Global Offensive gambling site through their separate YouTube channels without disclosing they own the very same site they are promoting.
Both ProSyndicate and TmarTn are extremely well known in the CSGO community fpr producing entertainment focused videos often tailored around skin packs and cosmetics. They promote a site known as CSGOLotto, whereby users can gamble skins, keys or cash in order to unlock rare items or even sell items for cash. Because all Steam transactions only provide Steam credit, third party sites like CSGOLotto are used to facilitate actual cash transactions and gambling.
What these sites essentially allow you to do is take virtual items and transfer them into real money. Because there is no regulation and it is not formally recognised as gambling, it is ripe for fraudulent activity and is also legal for children 13 and over to use.
Where things get sticky is that at no point has either of them mentioned that they are in fact co-owners of said site. One video even shows them pretending to have discovered a new site called CSGOLotto and winning thousands of dollars worth of items on it, pointing their 10 million subscribers to go and give it a go themselves.
It raises major questions as to whether any of the videos are legitimate at all - whether they were rigged results for the purpose of the videos or whether the winning reactions themselves were genuine.
Ethan Klein of h3h3 Productions claims in the video below that TmarTn and Syndicate are purposely targeting children and exposing them to gambling. Klein even goes so far as to say Valve is complicit in the situation, and has used the randomised item drops to distract from the true gambling core of what is going on here.
Both ProSyndicate and TmarTn deny any wrongdoing and claim they took the steps necessary to ensure fans knew where the content was coming from.
What do you make of this latest controversy? Do the murky waters of sponsored video content mean we can’t trust our favourite YouTube personalities? Share your thoughts below!