Twitch banned gambling live streams after facing criticism and pressure from prominent creators and other community members. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
The rise of online gambling
Twitch is a live streaming platform where viewers and content creators worldwide can unite and share in live entertainment. From video games to in-real-life (IRL) streams, Twitch’s popularity stems from the fact that it has something for almost everyone.
many creators on Twitch gambled thousands of dollars live to entertain their audiences
With a platform so diverse, online gambling soon found a home on Twitch. Gambling companies such as PokerStars and Stake started to partner with big Twitch streamers, including AdinRoss, xQc, and Trainwreck. As a result, many creators on Twitch gambled thousands of dollars live to entertain their audiences while gaining massive viewership.
Streamers like Trainwreck, Roshtein, and xQc found massive success in their slots streams, and gambling grew in popularity. In addition, many gambling companies continued to increase sponsorship on the site, further boosting the presence of online gambling.
As gambling gained eyeballs on Twitch, it also garnered plenty of controversies. Many have claimed that Twitch’s gambling is damaging to the younger users on the site while promoting an addictive lifestyle. Though gambling had been met with a fair bit of pushback from the community for some time, it wasn’t until streamer ItsSliker admitted to scamming friends and followers that the issues of Twitch gambling were truly accentuated.
According to reports, ItsSliker scammed his victims out of nearly $300,000 to fuel his gambling addiction. Popular creators such as xQc (Félix Lengyel) and Ludwig Ahgren worked to refund the victims of ItsSlicker’s scam.
To put more pressure on Twitch to do something about the problems with gambling on the site, streaming icons Pokimane (Imane Anys), Mizkif (Matthew Rinaudo), and Asmongold all agreed to go on strike. This would have caused damage to Twitch’s revenue:
In response to the barrage of pressure the platform was facing, Twitch eventually announced that streamers would no longer be allowed to broadcast gambling sites. This ban would include slots, roulette, or dice games if they weren’t licensed in the United States or provide “sufficient consumer protection.”:
The ban took effect on October 18, 2022. Sites like Stake, Rollbit, Duelbits, and Roobet were subsequently prohibited on Twitch. Many streamers called this a victory, with some prominent creators such as Pokimane, Hasanabi, and Ludwig praising the move.
However, not everyone was pleased. Streamer FaZe Ronaldo took to Twitter to call out Twitch for still allowing controversial hot tub streamers, while Fortnite streamer SAEVID argued that hot tub streams are “arguably even worse morally.”:
Trainwreck, who had gained massive success as a gambling streamer on Twitch, also voiced his distaste and called the site “corrupt” for continuing to allow sports betting. In a September 21, 2022 Tweet, he stated, “banning other forms of gambling while keeping the most prevalent form of it that gets them paid is af*cking joke.”