YouTube stars including Jake Paul and RiceGum have come under fire for ‘promoting bogus loot boxes’ on their channels.
A website called MysteryBrand has been featured in their videos, which showcase the YouTubers winning huge prizes through mystery-loot-box-style gambling.
The way it works is pretty much the same as in-game loot boxes. Before you open your virtual box you get to see a range of prizes you can supposedly win. These prizes range from the small (phone cases) to the obscenely huge (a Lamborghini Centenario), and they include everything in between.
Once won, you can choose to either get your prize delivered to your door, or trade it in for another box, taking an extra gamble in the hopes of winning big.
The site, which has everything from badly-written text to inflated values of items and generally dodgy payment procedures, definitely looks highly suspect, which is just one of the reasons people are concerned about its presence on YouTube.
Stars like Jake Paul have millions of followers of their channels, and Paul in particular has a very young audience. The promotion of such content – gambling being something illegal for those underage – is a worry, and that’s without even thinking about how legit websites like these really are.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen something like this coming from the gaming/YouTube community.
First big story of 2019!
I was offered $100k to do the same & almost took the cash. (But didn’t) So I can’t go that hard on them.
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) January 2, 2019
TmarTn and ProSyndicate were exposed after promoting a Counter Strike: GO skin gambling website on their channels, without explaining they owned the site.
Since the controversy, which has been picked up by both media outlets and other YouTubers including PewDiePie, RiceGum has released a video statement.
Check it out below.
As for Jake Paul, he’s yet to comment on the situation.