FUT Galaxy’s Craig ‘Nepenthez’ Douglas and Dylan Rigby have pleaded guilty to charges brought under the UK’s Gambling Act. The BBC reports that the pair have changed their initial plea of not guilty (made in October 2016), relating to the promotion and operation of an unlicensed gambling website connected to the FIFA series.

The FUT Galaxy (FUT, of course, being FIFA Ultimate Team) site reportedly allowed the gambling of virtual FIFA currency on real life football matches, and the reinvestment of winnings back into the FIFA game. Said currency can also be converted to real money via third-party sites.

Both men have pleaded guilty to the offense of advertising illegal gambling, likely related to the promotion of their site through popular YouTube gaming channels. Douglas also admitted to one charge of “being an officer of a firm that provided facilities for gambling without an operating license”. Rigby pleaded guilty to two charges related to the “provision of facilities for gambling”.

Sentencing has not yet taken place, but this could be landmark case in the legislative battle against ‘virtual currency’ based gambling and the promotion of such through YouTube gaming channels. The practice had so far largely evaded prosecution by remaining below the radar in a grey legal area. It rose to greater public attention with the various Counter-Strike:GO exposures in 2016.

Peter Parrish

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