In its most recent policy update, shared via Twitter on September 21, the globally popular video streaming platform Twitch has announced a ban on streaming from gambling sites that are not licensed in either the US or a jurisdiction that offers sufficient consumer protections.
This new ban on gambling from unregulated sites, as reported on US Gaming Review late last week, will go into effect on October 18, at which point streamers can no longer stream from gambling sites including Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com, Stake.com, and Roobet.com.
The ban will target unregulated and crypto gambling sites which have historically been involved with shady streaming practices, such as allowing streamers to gamble for large amounts of “fake” money while presenting it as their own cash.
According to the announcement, streaming of poker, sports betting, and fantasy sports related content will still be permitted. Casinos regulated in the US will also be allowed to appear on streams, the statement suggests, although further clarity may come in subsequent policy updates.
How it Came to This
Gambling content first appeared on Twitch a few years ago and has since exploded, with consumers watching over 50 million hours of it in August 2022 alone.
While several poker streamers have achieved popularity, it was slots that really put gambling on the map on Twitch, with a whole category reserved for such streams.
Over the years, there have been calls to ban gambling from the platform, especially as it was alleged that some streamers were playing with house money — not actually risking their own on their streams.
In August 2021, Twitch reacted to this by banning streamers from sharing links to gambling sites on their channels. Their community guidelines were updated to state that “linking to sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games, or sharing affiliate links or referral codes to such sites is not allowed.”
However, this didn’t resolve the problem. Many streamers would simply send their viewers to their websites, where gambling links were found with ease.
Most recently, a scandal involving UK-based streamer “ItsSliker” came to light. The Brit admitted to scamming both other streamers and his viewers out of over $200,000 to support his gambling addiction.
This, and other scandals involving gambling, created an uproar among the Twitch community. This prompted the Amazon-owned platform to take concrete steps.
What Does This Mean for Streamers?
Popular streamer “LetsGiveItASpin” immediately went to Twitter and praised Twitch over the new rules, which will be helpful to streamers playing with real money and on licensed sites.
The ban hits four sites licensed in Curacao and is targeted at offshore-licensed, or unlicensed, sites. Historically, these sites have been involved with a large number of scandals, including not paying player winnings, operating shady software, and not adhering to reasonable responsible gambling policy.
Furthermore, poker streamers, or streamers with fantasy sports content, will be untouched by this ban.