Syndicate and TmarTn Caught in CS: GO Betting Scandal
Image Credit: YouTube.com/TheSyndicateProject
Original Story: Prominent YouTubers Syndicate and TmarTn have been accused of promoting their CS: GO betting site, posting videos of themselves “winning big” on CSGOLotto.com while failing to properly disclose that they are its owners.
YouTuber HonorTheCall researched the origins of CSGOLotto.com after a number of videos had been posted by both TmarTn and Syndicate, real names Trevor Martin and Tom Cassell respectively, with him discovering that they are actually the president and vice-president of the gambling company, a key fact that they did not sufficiently disclose in their videos.
HonorTheCall found out this information by looking up Martin’s company, Tmartn Enterprises, with him then discovering that Martin was also a registered agent of CSGOLotto.com and is the company’s president. According to further research, Cassell is also a vice-president of the betting company, despite the pair failing to outline this conflict of interest in their videos referencing the site. Take a look at the company’s filing with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations below:
TmarTn posted a response in the comments section of HonorTheCall’s video, writing: “Yes, I founded CSGOLotto.com. That isn’t a secret, I don’t know why this is being treated as breaking news lol. I enjoyed playing on other sites and saw ways to make improvements to them, so I put a team together and built my own site.
“Making accusations that my winnings on the site and reactions are fake simply because I own a portion of the site is unjustified. Every single game that I played was real, every single skin that I won or lost was real. So please don’t throw around false accusations and slander.”
However, a video posted on the TmarTn2 YouTube channel sees him discussing CSGOLotto.com without disclosing that he’s the founder of the site, and instead referring to it as “a new site” that he and his friend “found.” “We were betting on it today, and I won a pot of $69,” Martin continues, adding: “It was the coolest feeling ever, and I ended up following them on Twitter and stuff, and they hit me up and they were talking to me about potentially doing a skin sponsorship, like they’ll give me skins to be able to bet on the site and stuff.” This certainly seems at odds with his claim that he wasn’t trying to keep his ownership of CSGOLotto a secret.
In a since-deleted vlog addressing the controversy included in h3h3Productions‘ video pertaining to the scandal, Martin claims that he always made his affiliation with CSGOLotto clear in the descriptions of his videos. However, as pointed out by h3h3Productions’ Ethan Klein, checking the Google cache of each of these videos before this news story broke reveals that he actually updated each description to add a disclaimer stating his relationship with CSGOLotto. The majority of these videos have now been made private, though one video that has remained online still fails to disclose his affiliation with CSGOLotto, instead listing it in the description as the “best place to gamble skins.”
However, in a video posted to YouTube news reporter Scarce’s channel, he claims that TmarTn sent him a Twitter direct message reading: “I do own the site now, I didn’t back then. At that point, it was a feeler video to see if my viewers would enjoy that type of content and whether or not I should invest in the business.” But as Ethan points out, the company charter for CSGOLotto reveals that he was the “initial officer” of the company alongside Cassell, meaning that he owned the company from the very beginning.
Martin posted by a Twitlonger statement regarding the controversy, which reads:
Response to the H3 vid: always had a lot of respect for Ethan, never seen a one-sided video from him. Weirdly enough, he never reached out to Tom or I. Just very odd not to see both sides of the field portrayed.
I’ve admitted to wishing I was more upfront about owning the site. It was always public info but I was never very outspoken about it. My idea was to keep business business, while the focus of YouTube was simply making entertaining content. Obviously that was misleading to viewers and something I very much regret. I’ve never been perfect and I 100% own up to that mistake.
That being said, everything we’ve done up until this point has been legal, that has been a #1 priority of ours. The day it becomes illegal is the day we cease activity.
Either way, love you guys and the support. If you’re upset with me I understand! Thanks dudes.
After the news broke of Syndicate and TmarTn’s affiliation with CSGOLotto, Cassell also posted a tweet reading: “I’ve always disclosed that my CSGO videos were sponsored & even asked a YouTube employee if anything more was needed & they said it wasn’t.” However, being sponsored by a company to make a YouTube video is clearly completely different from being the vice-president of the company. While both Cassell and Martin insist that they did not rig any of the outcomes in their videos, as they are both owners of the company it is inevitable that uploading these videos without being fully transparent regarding their relationship with the company is incredibly shady, and eyebrows will inevitably be raised regardless of whether or not they have been using CSGOLotto’s service just as any other user would.
Even if that is the case, and both Syndicate and TmarTn haven’t been tinkering with CS: GO in order to make their outcomes on the site more favorable, it’s still morally wrong for them to upload videos of themselves using their own gambling site, without directly informing their viewers that that is the case. With CS: GO betting sites becoming a larger part of the game’s community, which in and of itself is very questionable considering that it essentially allows users below the legal gambling age to bet for real money, this controversy will undoubtedly lead to a greater spotlight being placed upon the subculture surrounding Valve’s FPS game. It remains to be seen whether or not Syndicate and TmarTn will face a larger punishment for their actions here, but regardless it will certainly prove to be a major blemish on both of these prominent YouTubers’ careers.