The owners of one of the most infamous esports gambling sites have escaped major punishment after settling with the FTC.
Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell, two part-owners of CS:GO gambling site CSGOLotto, reached a settlement order yesterday involving a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against themselves and their website. The settlement includes no immediate financial penalty for the pair.
The order requires TmarTn and Syndicate to “clearly and conspicuously disclose any material connections” with their business interests in compliance with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Act. This is the FTC’s “first-ever complaint received against social media influencers,” according to the FTC.
If they were to violate the FTC’s order requiring full disclosure to their followers, either through their own means or through other individuals, they face civil penalties up to $40,654. The FTC has also laid out further guidelines for social media influencers wishing to promote products or services.
In June of last year, it was revealed that both TmarTn and Syndicate had ownership stakes in CSGO Lotto. They advertised their gambling site to their followers, without publicly disclosing their interest within the company. The pair created videos with titles like “HOW TO WIN $13,000 IN 5 MINUTES (CS:GO Betting),” urging their fans to join in on the winnings.
According to the FTC, TmarTn and Syndicate also paid other well-known social media personalities thousands of dollars to promote CSGOLotto on multiple platforms, such as YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and Facebook. The payouts ranged from $2,500 to $55,000.
Now that the FTC has made advertising requirements on social media more clear-cut, it should theoretically prevent future scandals similar to the CSGOLotto case from happening. The next personalities who find themselves on the wrong end of a complaint might not get off so lightly.