YouTuber Trevor Martin Admits Ownership Of CS:GO Gambling Site, Doesn't Apologize For Deception
Update: Trevor Martin has removed his "apology" video from YouTube. He has issued no comment or statement at this time.
Original Story (July 6, 2016 @ 5:47 p.m. Central):
Earlier this week, two popular YouTubers were discovered to be owners of a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) gambling site that they promoted without disclosure. Videos showed Tom “ProSyndicate” Cassell and Trevor “TmarTn” Martin gambling on CS:GO Lotto, a site they claimed to stumble upon.
This situation came to light through the detective work of a YouTube channel called HonorTheCall and signal boosting by H3H3 Productions. The accused duo, which commands an audience of 17 million subscribers, has been silent since their illicit activities, failure to comply with FTC rules, and all of the related fallout that came to light on July 4.
Today, Martin published a video titled “I’m Sorry.” In it, he suggests that he did not deceive viewers because his ownership of the site was a matter of public record. That means that information could be found if someone went looking, which is not the same as open, unavoidable, and clearly labeled disclosure. “My connection to CS:GO Lotto has been a matter of public record since the company was first organized in December of 2015,” he says. “However, I do feel like I owe you an apology. I am sorry to each and every one of you who felt like that was not made clear enough to you.”
Martin did not include a disclosure on his videos that he owned the company, and even stated that in an earlier clip that he had been made aware of the site. “We found this new site called CS:GO Lotto,” he said in an earlier video. “We were betting on it today, and I won a pot of like $69 or something like that. It was a pretty small pot. But it was like the coolest feeling ever. I ended up following them on Twitter and stuff, and they hit me up and they’re talking to me about potentially doing like a skin sponsorship. I’ve been considering doing it.”
In a video that appeared after the news broke that he and Cassell had failed to disclose their ownership of the business, Martin changed his tune. “Tom (ProSyndicate) and I own CS:GO Lotto,” Martin says. “This is something that has never been a secret.”
In today's update, Martin goes on to say that he does not condone underage gambling. The terms of service on CS:GO Lotto now say that anyone under the age of 18 is not permitted, though there is no check or technical prohibition that prevents someone of any age from using the site.
We still have not heard back from Martin or Cassell after reaching out to both of them on Monday, July 4. We've also reached out to YouTube and the FTC for comment. We’ll update should we receive responses to our inquiries.
Update: The FTC has offered a reply to our inquiry saying it does not comment on possible investigations, but will contact us should they choose to issue a statement.
[Source: Trevor Martin on YouTube (removed)]
Martin’s pandering statement is barely an apology, and he takes steps to avoid actually apologizing for wrongdoing. He does not say he’s sorry for failing to disclose. He does not apologize for duping people. He apologizes if people didn’t think it was clear enough, placing partial blame on viewers.
We're curious to see if both YouTube and the FTC take direct, punitive action against Martin and Cassell. Both have betrayed their viewers' trust, and Martin has only salted the wound with this simpering non-apology.