FaZe Clan owner Ricky Banks recently revealed on an episode of the BADNWZ podcast that members of the FaZe esports organization ran a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skin gambling website.
A little before 2016, FaZe Clan started looking for a new CSGO roster to invest in, which Banks stated was going to cost them $1 million. It was an amount the organization did not have at the time. He told the podcast host that he knew the team was “going to be worth $5 million” in the next six months, so he needed a way to acquire the team as quickly as possible.
It’s unclear who else was involved with the plot, but Banks and some other FaZe Clan members purchased a house on a Caribbean island to run a skin gambling website “legally with permits.” According to Banks, they flew to the island privately and paid “the guy that runs the country” $100,000 for the permit.
“We bought this whole estate, had guys with guns… this place was fucking crazy,” Banks recalled.
For a while, Banks claimed he and his compatriots were making around $200,000 a day with the CSGO skin gambling website, which he didn’t name. The site has since shut down.
“We were the only ones doing it legitimately,” Banks said. “We were making crazy money.”
Fans are already speculating which skin gambling site it was. Many are thinking it’s CSGOWild, since FaZe Clan often made videos promoting skin gambling on that particular site. They never disclosed they were owners and CSGOWild even denied the organization was a partial owner back in 2016.
“First off, FaZe Clan, and any of its members do not and have NEVER owned any part of Wild,” the statement read. “Team Wild Inc. also known as CSGOWild is ONLY owned by myself and my brother, Zach.”
Owner of FaZe Clan and only FaZe Clan. No matter what rumors you hear.
— NORDAN ⛈ (@FaZe_Rain) July 18, 2016
Around that time, CSGO skin gambling was becoming a big controversy in the gaming community. While some operations were legal, many websites were scams or had shady behind-the-scenes activities. This included one of the biggest scandals of the time, when YouTubers Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Tom “ProSyndicate” Cassell were sharing videos of themselves winning big on CSGO Lotto without disclosing that they were the owners.
A few months later, the Washington State Gambling Commission forced Valve to take steps towards ending skin betting. Valve complied by disabling many of the tools that kept these websites operating. Most CSGO skin betting activity ended in 2016.