FaZe Clan owner Richard “Banks” Bengtson has admitted his involvement in a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) gambling site. Banks was interviewed by BADNWZ, a society and culture podcast, where he dived deep into FaZe Clan’s humble beginnings and history in esports.
According to Banks, several years ago, FaZe Clan was eager to jump into CSGO‘s competitive scene. However, at the time, FaZe lacked the necessary funds to invest in a team fully. As a result, Banks stated FaZe launched its own gambling site to “finesse” funds. Banks didn’t name the gambling site, nor did he list any of the people involved with the website.
Banks stated the site racked in an astonishing $200,000 a day under FaZe’s operation. He explained FaZe Clan ran the site out of a mansion estate in Antigua. Supposedly, the organization met “with the guy who runs the country” and paid him $100,000 for permits. Banks assures the unknown site was wholly legitimate and later closed down.
CSGO‘s uneasy history with gambling
The discovery of FaZe Clan’s site may concern some. For years, controversy has surrounded CSGO gambling websites. In late 2015 and 2016, Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Tom “ProSyndicate” Cassell advertised a CSGO gambling site and didn’t tell anyone they were part-owners. Not only did they shamelessly push their website to their following, but they allegedly manipulated bet outcomes.
CSGO gambling is a massive, often unregulated market whose legalities exist in a gray area. In order to get around gambling regulations, sites argued users gambled with skins and not real-world money. Eventually, in the case of TmarTn and ProSyndicate, the federal government involved itself. Valve issued cease-and-desist letters to 23 gambling sites saying the organizations violated the Steam user agreement.
Currently, no one can say whether or not FaZe’s unnamed gambling site was one of the sites involved in Valve’s suit.