HellRaisers posted Thursday perhaps the most irresponsible tweet and accompanying article in esports history.
Why is it profitable to bet with bitcoins?
— HellRaisers Esports (@HELLRAISERSgg) October 5, 2017
In what appears to be an advertisement for a partnership with Sportsbet.io, HellRaisers tweeted it would tell readers “why betting with bitcoins is more profitable.”
First off, the tweet outlines a profitability when betting with bitcoin. Betting with bitcoin isn’t any more profitable than betting with any other type of currency. It’s gambling. HellRaisers is promoting gambling to its likely young, potentially underage fan base. HellRaisers is attempting to leverage its young fans and push them toward a partner sponsor while advocating “profit” in the process.
The corresponding “news article” is even more problematic. HellRaisers classifies the blatant sponsor advertisement as a news post on its website (in the same tab you’d find event results and roster announcements) and doesn’t include any disclaimers about gambling or that no profit is guaranteed. HellRaisers refers to Sportsbet.io as a “partner,” but never elaborates on what that means. The nature of the partnership between the two companies should be explicitly stated and transparent. The post also fails to include any disclaimer about the perils of gambling and addiction, which is standard for almost any advertisement involving gambling.
Here’s perhaps the most reprehensible part:
“Moreover, Sportsbet.io will increase your winnings by 20% if you bet on a match with HellRaisers!”
HellRaisers is telling fans to bet on HellRaisers matches! What would stop the team from throwing any match so that it or its betting partner could profit?
In some countries, such a post might not even be legal. Why should it be allowed here? (And while we’re at it, I’d be shocked if HellRaisers received permission to use the image of Scrooge McDuck in the advertisement). HellRaisers declined comment.
It’s only been a year since the skins gambling scandal rocked Counter-Strike, and this is where we’re at? Do better, HellRaisers. And let’s get shit like this out of esports.
(And, by the way, If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call toll free 1-800-GAMBLER.)