Twitch Takes A Half-Assed Swipe At Gambling Streams

Twitch Takes A Half-Assed Swipe At Gambling Streams
Roshtein is one of the most popular slots streamers on Twitch, (Screenshot: Twitch / Roshtein)

Twitch has announced a new rule for streamers that prohibits the sharing of links or referral codes to sites that offer real-money slots, roulette, or dice games. The company says this will protect its viewers from “harm and scams.” Another cool thing Twitch could do to stop the glorification of compulsive gambling? Ban gambling streams altogether.

As Twitch expert Nathan Grayson wrote back in June, scoring a gambling sponsorship on the streaming service means big money for the streamer. Online gambling companies like Frank Casino, Duelbits, or Stake will often pay popular streamers huge sums of money to sit around on camera playing virtual gambling machines. One of the ways the online casinos make money from this practice is by referrals, special codes or links that offer some sort of cash bonus, free games, or other incentives to new players.

Twitch’s latest creator update aims to put an end to these incentives. Streamers like Roshtein (above), who as of this writing is currently playing video slots in front of more than 25,000 viewers, have until August 17 to strip the codes from their streams. As Twitch wrote:

To prevent harm and scams created by questionable gambling services that sponsor content on Twitch, we will prohibit sharing links and/or referral codes to sites that offer slots, roulette, or dice games. We will continue to monitor gambling-related content and update our approach as needed. To give you time to remove this content from your channel, enforcement will be delayed until August 17, 2021.

The roulette streamers I’ve viewed today in researching this don’t seem all that concerned about the new guidelines. Roshtein, asked by a viewer what he thought about Twitch banning gambling links and referral codes, said, “It’s great.” And in a tweet addressing the new guidelines he said, “Could be going into the right direction, excited about where this goes!”

Though the new Twitch guidelines do indeed seem like a move in the right direction, they don’t actually do much. Some gambling streamers do make a lot of money off of referrals, yes, but they have other ways they can distribute those lucrative links if Twitch starts cracking down.

And it’s not just about the referrals. Gambling sites sponsor streamers. In some cases they provide the funds Twitch streamers gamble with. Others have been offered large monthly salaries to keep the dice rolling. Why would gambling sites invest so much money in gambling streams if they didn’t result in a steady stream of new players?

As much as many gambling streamers like to tell viewers not to gamble — or just to watch them gamble, instead — there’s obviously an element of encouragement to this streaming entertainment, and one that could cause real-life harm. These streamers flash huge winnings in front of viewers whose lives could be seriously affected by the loss of a couple hundred dollars, if not less.

Twitch’s new gambling guidelines at least say the company will “continue to monitor gambling-related content and update our approach as needed,” so the company could still adopt more stringent — and arguably more protective — rules concerning streamed gambling in the future.

Comments

  • Most casinos dont allow underage children in the gambling areas for a reason. Twitch should age gate these streams at minimum. They should not appear unless your account has you at 18+

  • Another cool thing the government could do to stop the glorification of compulsive gambling? Ban gambling in videogames altogether. No more casinos or dice rolling in videogames, not even betting mechanics. Just get rid of all the evil vices and make the world a better place.

    After all, adults are too stupid to make decisions for themselves, they oughta be coddled like children.

    • Well, at least your name is appropriate as you are a f**king clown.

      I am generally all in with let adults make their own decisions, but gambling, and especially these online streams and sponsorships of gambling, are truly despicable pieces of crap. Gamblers have to take responsibility for their failings and I rarely feel sorry for them, but this predatory act by the streamers should see them shot into the sun.

      Twitch need to outright ban this crap. And while we are at it, all the betting adverts during the sport streams. Move to after 9pm for adults only or outright ban like cigarettes.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!