Twitch Alters Gambling Rules Following Mass Outcry
Sep 28, 2022
Twitch is a site owned by warehouse giant Amazon, which allows its users to live stream themselves playing games, going about their day-to-day lives, making music, or most anything else that you can think of, which, up until recently, included gambling.
Gambling had always been a contentious topic on the platform ever since it started gaining mainstream momentum. Everything finally came to a head on the 21st of September 2022, when the official Twitter account tweeted out an update to its terms and conditions.
You might be wondering what caused all of this and why now has everything changed so suddenly. We’re here to break down everything that led up to this moment and have a look to see where the platform is heading in the future.
What Was The Cause?
As we mentioned earlier, gambling had always been a bit of a hot topic within Twitch’s community. Ever since large-name casinos and slot game developers started sponsoring massive creators on the platform, the question of whether gambling should be allowed on Twitch has been raging on.
Streamers such as xQc (real name Félix Lengyel) garner an average audience of 63,350 people watching per stream, so it’s no wonder why brands want to sponsor these creators, they can have massive followings.
Tensions hit a boiling point when another streamer by the name of ItsSliker allegedly scammed his audience, fellow streamers, friends, family, and mods out of roughly $300,000 in order to sate his gambling addiction. His first experience with gambling came in the form of CS: GO skin gambling, opening loot boxes in an attempt to get a cosmetic for an in-game weapon, after that he moved on to sports betting.
When his lies were laid bare and the world could see what he was actually doing with the money that he was asking for, a public furore erupted, spearheaded by massive Twitch content creators like Pokimane and HasanAbi. These streamers were putting pressure on Twitch to ban gambling off the site, and clearly, it worked.
What Happened Next?
Twitch, noticing the public outcry, quickly amended its gambling policy. From the 18th of October 2022, slots, roulette, and/or dice games that aren’t licensed either in the U.S. or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection are strictly prohibited and cannot be streamed on the platform. Twitch is actively building a database of gambling sites that it deems unsafe for viewership and will continue to update it.
The website will still allow the streaming of fantasy sports, poker, and interestingly enough, sports betting, the driving force behind ItsSliker’s addiction.
Where Does Twitch Go From Here?
While most cheered at the outcome of this controversy, some say it isn’t enough, they say that all gambling needs to be banned from the platform.
There are others that see this as a huge negative, those that made livings off of streaming the content that will soon be outlawed.
Some say the solution should be disallowing the iGaming industry from sponsoring streamers.
It will certainly be interesting to see how the platform evolves further down the line. They might reverse their decision or they might impose stricter rules. It’s all up in the air at this point and all we can do is watch from the sidelines.
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