A conspiracy theory that accuses an online casino of being involved in human trafficking is going viral all across TikTok.
The claim, which alleges that the online gambling service Roobet is using “slaves” for dealers, received a significant boost over the past week after TikTok user “@tythecrazyguy” amplified the conspiracy theory to his more than 3.3 million followers.
In a video viewed more than 1.1 million times, the popular TikTok user begins by noting that the website for Roobet bars U.S. users before arguing that such a rule is clearly suspicious in nature.
But the claim that the videos are produced by Roobet appears to be inaccurate. The gambling streams are instead run by Evolution Gaming, the world’s largest provider of live gambling services. Even so, U.S. users being blocked from Roobet would be related to U.S. gambling laws and not proof of a conspiracy.
The Daily Dot reached out to both Roobet and Evolution Gaming but did not receive a reply by press time.
Further on in the video, @tythecrazyguy adds a disclaimer, presumably to protect himself from potential liability, claiming that he does not endorse the conspiracy theory despite presenting much of the information as plausible.
Evidence for the wild accusations boil down to a handful of videos in which an assortment of female dealers appear to be fatigued. Hundreds of TikTok users in the comments suggested that the women were either drugged or being abused.
“Omg this is so scary!” one user responded. “Those girls are not safe.”
But other commenters who claimed to have previously worked at casinos argued that the employees were likely just overworked and underpaid. Some further noted that the dealers appeared to have accents from Eastern Europe and suggested that their working conditions were likely to be less favorable.
Another aspect of the conspiracy theory, as explained by @tythecrazyguy, is that the dealers have been tied to their chairs. The video cites footage of one woman who appears to have passed out being carried away in her chair by a group of male employees.
“Now what’s very offsetting about this video to me is that a bunch of men had to come and literally drag her out but not just her, they dragged her on her chair,” @tythecrazyguy says. “Which made a lot of people including me really suspicious that they’re forcing these women to work and tying them to the chairs so that they can’t leave. I mean, why else would they have to drag the chair off with her? It’s like she’s attached to it.”
Yet a longer version of the same video shared by another account clearly shows the woman being picked up and carried away without the chair. It remains unclear why the woman appears to have fainted, but other videos on the @karlapeoples101 account—dedicated to videos of the casino women—show that they often appear sleepy and exhausted.
The video from @tythecrazyguy continues by arguing that the usage of face masks by some employees but not others is somehow suspicious. Many users began claiming that a blonde dealer whose face was covered with a mask was actually a missing teenager from New York even though the dealer’s eye color doesn’t match those of the missing teen.
“Probably made her wear a mask to hide her features if it was that girl who went missing,” another commenter said.
Concluding the video, @tythecrazyguy states that he hopes his commentary “reaches someone who is professional and can look into this more seriously.”
Other videos recently shared by @tythecrazyguy include those discussing conspiracy theories regarding the belief that the earth is hollow as well as the claim that artists Post Malone and Justin Bieber are actually the same person.
The online casino conspiracy theory has become so popular that merely searching “roobet” on Google offers auto-complete suggestions for “roobet trafficking” and “roobet conspiracy.” However, it doesn’t appear to have stopped people, especially Twitch streamers, from participating in this latest online gambling boom.
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*First Published: Aug 4, 2021, 7:27 pm CDT
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.