Hainault YouTuber NepentheZ ordered to pay £91,000 after admitting online gambling offences
PUBLISHED: 10:06 09 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:06 09 February 2017
A YouTuber has been ordered to pay more than £90,000 in fines after he admitted helping to run an unlicensed website allowing people to bet on the outcome of video games.
Craig Douglas, 33, formerly of Robinia Close, Hainault, and Dylan Rigby, 34, of Colchester, pleaded guilty to offences under the Gambling Act 2005.
Both parties had originally pleaded not guilty in October.
Douglas was ordered to pay £91,000 in fines and costs, while Rigby was ordered to pay £174,000.
Under the online name Nepenthez, Douglas and Rigby ran a website that let video gamers gamble virtual currency that could then be sold for real money on the internet.
The case is reportedly the first of its kind.
Summing up, District Judge, DJ McGarva described the offending as “very grave”.
He concluded that children had been gambling on the site but that it was impossible to know how many had done so and what the effect of the criminality has been; that, he said, was the “real mischief”.
Having been shown footage of a 12 year old boy gambling on the website, the Judge described what he had seen as “horrific”, adding that the video had “hit home to me how serious this is”.
Sarah Harrison, Gambling Commission CEO, said: “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.
“The defendants knew that the site was used by children and that their conduct was illegal but they turned a blind eye in order to achieve substantial profits.
“The effect on children of online gambling was rightly described by the Court as ‘horrific’ and ‘serious’.”
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