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YouTube stars caught out in bizarre relationships with Counter-Strike: GO betting rings

The internet is awash with stories of YouTube stars connected in bizarre Counter-Strike: Global Offensive betting rings.

Early last week, Polygon reported that CS:GO publisher Valve is accused of “creating, sustaining and facilitating [a] market” where players can trade in-game weapon skins as if they were real-world casino chips.

The accusation is made as part of a lawsuit by Michael John McLeod of Connecticut, connected to a report by Bloomberg about the practice.

“People buy skins for cash, then use the skins to place online bets on pro CS:GO matches,” Bloomberg said of the practice. “Because there’s a liquid market to convert each gun or knife back into cash, laying a bet in skins is essentially the same as betting with real money.”

The sites in question do not use age verification.

“In sum, Valve owns the league, sells the casino chips, and receives a piece of the casino’s income stream through foreign websites in order to maintain the charade that Valve is not promoting and profiting from online gambling, like a modern-day Captain Renault from Casablanca,” McLeod’s suit alleges. “That most of the people in the CS:GO gambling economy are teenagers and under 21 makes Valve’s and the other Defendants’ actions even more unconscionable.” The ones that want to get a great online gambling experience can visit this site here.

Flash-forward to this week, and YouTuber HonorTheCall has discovered that fellow YouTubers Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Tom “ProSyndicate” Cassell are promoting a CS:GO gambling site they own without any disclosure. Martin and Cassell are the President and Vice President of CSGOlotto, though have made a series of videos seemingly winning big at that same site. Nowhere do the pair acknowledge their ownership.

Meanwhile, YouTuber PsiSyndicate has made a video confessing his relationship with CS:GO betting website Steamloto. The video maker created four videos, all sponsored by Steamloto, without disclosure of the arrangement. Rather, PsiSyndicate said the rare skins he unboxed on camera were won via a lottery — a suggestion the filmmaker says was made by Steamloto.

“The total takings was $3,200 in skins, [rare skins] Dragon Lore/Ruby, $1,200 ($4,000 really, $2,800 of my own skins) of which I gave away,” PsiSyndicate explained via in-video text.


“The Dragon Lore video has 1.3 million views and was uploaded almost a year ago,” he added via a comment on his own video. “YES, it looks dodgy, but the only way to REALLY expose someone is with evidence. The only way you’ll find that is through me/the owner of the website. So no, I didn’t do it for that reason, I did it because I realised I was stupid to even do it.”

We’ll have more on this crazy story as it comes to light.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.