Some of the most popular YouTubers are using their influence to lure young fans to Mystery Brand, a dangerously addictive Polish gambling site. In a series of sponsored videos, stars like Jake Paul and Bryan “Ricegum” Le encourage underage viewers to spend money on sketchy bets.
“Spent $5,000 ON MYSTERY BOXES & You WONT Believe WHAT I GOT… (insane),” Paul titled a video uploaded Sunday, which shows him opening multiple “Mystery Boxes” from the website. Le has posted similar videos, like the one where he supposedly gets AirPods for just $4.
For a chance to win these expensive prizes, users bet on a virtual “Mystery Box.” And while the cost of each box isn’t high, the odds are incredibly low (some are just 0.0000018 percent), making it easy for an impressionable audience to get sucked into gambling and losing a lot of money.
Not only are the listings suspicious, but kids who are under “the age of majority” may not even be eligible to get the items they paid for. “During using the services of the website You may encounter circumstances in which Your won items will not be received,” reads Mystery Brand’s terms of service.
Someone commoditized the YouTube mystery box trend and built a website for kids to spend $, which big YouTubers are now promoting. Lots of ppl calling it gambling for kids and chastising Jake Paul for endorsing https://t.co/evYjY03jPC https://t.co/hfwRXXY1ei
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) January 3, 2019
Despite many calling Mystery Brand a scam, YouTubers like Paul and Le continue to promote it. “We partnered with them because they’re the best and they have the dopest site and they have all the dopest products,” said Paul. “On their site, you can literally win a Rolls Royce … You can win iPhones and iPads and all sorts of goods.”
However, fellow vlogger Keemstar (who runs channel DramaAlert) recently revealed that the stars are likely just in it for the money, now that views on YouTube are down in general.
“So it’s clear now a bunch of videos will be coming out starting tomorrow calling out @jakepaul & @RiceGum for promoting a Gambling site to kids!” Keemstar tweeted, adding, “I was offered $100k to do the same & almost took the cash. (But didn’t.)”
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