Update: TmarTn removed his original apology video from YouTube. We've posted a reupload of the video above.
Trevor 'TmarTn (opens in new tab)' Martin, one of the YouTubers who was recently as the owner of CSGO Lotto, the website he'd been promoting on his channel—without disclosing his interest in it—has issued an “apology” video in which he states that he's sorry if he didn't make his relationship to the site clear enough for everyone.
The video begins with Martin kissing his dog in the foyer of his seemingly-very-expensive mansion, with a big truck strategically framed in the double doors behind him. He professes his love and appreciation for his viewers, whose support enables him to chase his dreams and follow his passions, before moving on to explain that, if you didn't know he was the owner of CSGO Lotto, and thus profiting from its success, well, that's your own fault.
“My connection to CSGO Lotto has been a matter of public record since the company was first organized in December of 2015,” he says, seemingly reading from a prepared message. “However, I do feel like I owe you guys an apology. I am sorry to each and every one of you who felt like that was not made clear enough to you. I truly, honestly hope that you guys give me an opportunity to earn your trust back.”
But attorney , one of the three attorneys who took part in a recent Reddit AMA on the matter, said that's not nearly good enough. “He means someone could’ve searched for that public document, which is utter stupidity,” Morrison told us today over Skype. “Even if he wrote it in the text underneath his video as he’s gone back and done, that’s still not sufficient disclosure. He couldn’t be further away in terms of compliance.”
Martin vowed to ensure that his YouTube channel and all other business are “in compliance with the law,” and made a point of stating that he does not condone minors using the CSGO Lotto site. “This is and always has been a clearly stated policy available both in the terms of service as well as the initial signup page on the website,” he says. Furthermore, “We do not knowingly record information of children under the age of 13 years in compliance with the COPA Act. This has nothing to do with, and does not mean, that we condone minors under the age of 18 to play on the site.”
But that too falls far short of what's required in Morrison's eyes. “We have online gambling that is completely unregulated as far as I can tell from CSGO Lotto, they don’t age verify minus one little ‘check tick’ when you sign up for an account, which is nowhere near enough age verification,” he said. “They allow you to put in and take out [skins] basically as you please, and there’s no attempt to follow the different gambling regulations that exist, even in terms of percentages of winning and things like that. Some jurisdictions don’t allow you to increase the odds of winning if you put in more money and here that’s quite literally how the website works.”
Martin is obviously less interested in apologizing than in protecting himself and his company, but these late-game maneuvers may not do him much good. “I can’t say there’s going to be prosecution but I’ve said a couple times and I still very much believe that it’s as close to a sure thing as possible,” Morrison continued. “If you look at FanDuel and DraftKings and how many states have gone after those guys now, they’re gonna see that this is infinitely worse than anything DraftKings and FanDuel was doing and getting similar attention if not more attention. I refuse to believe there’s not a legislator, a district attorney, a state whatever that’s not going to make this into a criminal matter.”
And if that should happen, the potential penalties are very stiff. FTC guidelines are “not technically a law in the sense that it has criminal charges,” Morrison explained. But it can “act like a court. They can seize assets, they can fine you to oblivion, they can do a ton of really scary stuff.” Beyond potential FTC penalties for the lack of clear disclosure, Martin and Tom ‘Syndicate’ Cassell could face separate, criminal prosecution for operating CSGO Lotto.
Additional reporting by Evan Lahti.
Update: Martin has retained the services of law firm Watson LLP, which has issued a statement on the matter to PC Invasion. Much of it simply repeats what Martin said in his video, but the firm also insisted that no wrongdoing actually took place.
"It is important to understand that winners on the website are randomly determined by both algorithms and computer code. The odds of winning games played at CSGO Lotto are not more or less favorable to any players. The company has fail-safe measures in place to prevent any person and any player from independently changing or manipulating the outcomes of any games played," the statement says in part. "CSGO Lotto finds it deeply troubling that statements against both the company and its owners are not supported by facts and lack a serious understanding of 'gambling,' as that term is legally defined. In this way, CSGO Lotto is materially different from its competitors who operate other game play websites that may, in fact, cross the line of legality."