Twitch Announces Ban on Unlicensed Gambling Content, Starting Oct. 18
Gambling streams have become more popular on the well-known streaming platform, Twitch. But as the category has gained interest, not everyone has been on board with streams containing gambling.
Some of the established Twitch streamers such as Imane “Pokimane” Anys, Devin Nash and Matthew “Miskif” Rinaudo have spoken out against gambling content and the harm it can cause viewers.
After the latest drama surrounding a UK streamer known as Sliker, who admitted to scamming friends and other streamers out of money to feed his gambling addiction, Twitch has announced it will ban unlicensed gambling content on its platform.
An update on gambling on Twitch. pic.twitter.com/lckNTY9Edo— Twitch (@Twitch) September 20, 2022
“Gambling content on Twitch has been a big topic of discussion in the community, and something we’ve been actively reviewing since our last policy update in this area,” Twitch wrote in a tweet. “So, we’ll be making a policy update on October 18 to prohibit streaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licensed either in the U.S. or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection. These sites include Stake.com, Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com and Robobet.com. However, we may identify others as we move forward.”
Twitch goes on to say it will continue to allow websites that focus on sports betting, fantasy sports and poker.
Gambling Rising in Popularity, Problem Gamblers
Popular streamers have entered into partnerships with various crypto gaming websites that includes live streaming them playing on those sites.
Popular celebrities such as Drake have also been shown on Twitch gambling large sums of money on roulette, along with sponsored streamers. Some such as Trainwreckstv make it a point to state that gambling large sums of money is not realistic and that even winning should not be a gambler’s goal because you will end up losing in the long run.
But not everyone preaches responsible gaming messages, and with young audiences tuning into these streams, their perception of gambling can become distorted.
“Gambling is damaging to young Twitch users, bad for legitimate advertisers and brings down the quality of the whole site,” Nash wrote in a Twitter thread. “There are still streamers accountable for their own platforms, but they are becoming more rare. That’s why I support @Trainswreckstv. He gambles, but his messaging about gambling is clear to everyone … Unfortunately, there’s only one Trainwreckstv out there and dozens more rats who will abuse the system and their audience for fame and dollars.”
According to StreamElements, the Slots streaming category has grown from 31 million hours watched in April 2022 to over 50 million hours last month for a 66% increase year-on-year.
Twitch's Sliker Drama
The Sliker drama is what has been the main piece in propelling Twitch to make a change. In a confession video, Sliker said he would lie to his friends and peers so he could get loans from them in order to gamble on the outcome of Counter Strike matches.
Sliker admits to scamming people out of over $200,000 and that he plans to eventually pay everyone back. Meanwhile, other streamers such as xQc and Ludwig announced they will attempt to pay people back who were scammed by Sliker if they can prove they gave him money.
The Sliker fallout has allowed streamers to continue to speak out against gambling. Pokimane, who has over 4.1 million Twitter followers, posted a tweet saying users should “like” it if they feel Twitch should ban gambling. The tweet currently has over 316,500 likes.
like if twitch should ban gambling— pokimane 🤍 (@pokimanelol) September 18, 2022
Meanwhile, Trainwreckstv still believes harmful gambling on Twitch is an individual issue and not a platform problem. He calls for better regulation in the gambling category from Twitch.
“The STREAMERS & VIEWERS who sell a false reality should be banned,” Trainwreckstv wrote on Twitter. “People who keep giveaways through codes that require you to gamble should be banned. People who hide all losses and only show wins should be banned. Things like this are predatory.”
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