YouTuber pleads not guilty to video game gambling offences

Two men have appeared in court and pleaded not guilty after they were previously charged with offences under the Gambling Act.

Craig Douglas and Dylan Rigby made their pleas at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Friday.

The pair were charged on 16 September with promoting a lottery and advertising unlawful gambling.

The case has been adjourned until 6 February 2017, when the court will hold a hearing expected to last a week.

Mr Douglas is a prominent gamer and has a YouTube channel under the pseudonym Nepenthez which has more than 1.3 million subscribers.

Douglas is also charged with inviting children to gamble by advertising a gambling website connected to the football video game Fifa.

The sites gave players the chance to win footballers for their collection, which the gambling commission has referred to as skin betting.

This is believed to be the first prosecution of its kind involving betting on video games and skin betting.


What is skin betting?

Skins are collectable, virtual items in video games - such as modifications that change the appearance of weapons.

The term is sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to any collectable video game item - such as football players in Fifa.

Sometimes skins and footballers can be earned within a game, but they can also be bought with real money.

Some games also let players trade and sell skins, with rarer examples attracting high prices.

A number of websites let players gamble with their skins for the chance to win more valuable ones.

Since skins won on such a website could in some cases be sold and turned back into real-world money, critics suggest betting with skins may constitute unlicensed gambling.