While streamers threaten boycotts, Twitch is taking action on some gambling content

Zoom / Gambling-focused streams like this will see more restrictions from Twitch in the coming weeks.

Streaming platform owned by Amazon Twitch Announced late on Tuesday They will start cracking down on flows promoting certain types of gambling sites in the coming weeks. The move comes after a number of prominent broadcasters publicly considered “Twitch blackout” to protest what they see as Twitch’s implicit promotion of harmful and addictive gambling behaviour. Concern about gambling among some streamers has become a newly relevant issue this week thanks in part to Sliker, a fairly prominent streamer who admitted in one stream last weekend to his extreme addiction to score gambling. CS: GO matches. Regular readers will recognize this form of gambling as one that Valve and other streaming devices have struggled with for years.

Slicker says he solicited at least $200,000 in donations from viewers and other viewers under false pretenses, using the money to fund his gambling habit rather than help with his alleged temporary cash flow problem. “I don’t know what to say to the people I borrowed from,” Slicker said in his confession table. “This is the example of gambling. I want to say don’t touch it.”

Following the controversy, major broadcasters Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys, Matthew ‘Mizkif’ Rinaudo and Devin Nash began discussing what they saw as Twitch gambling problem as part of a long joint stream.

Nash has been an outspoken critic of Twitch taking no action regarding gambling on the platform and newly Discuss how he left Twitch months ago due to this issue. “Gambling is harmful to young Twitch users, bad for legitimate advertisers, and reduces the quality of the entire site,” he wrote. “Legitimate advertisers don’t want their ads to display alongside online casino ads. They don’t want to support children’s advertising gambling. This decision costs Twitch in cultural fairness and real revenue.”

In the syndicated broadcast on Sunday, Nash read a viewer’s comment suggesting that a number of live viewers with a large viewer base should join together to threaten a “one-week strike over Christmas” unless Twitch makes a “gambling waiver.” Rinaudo immediately replied that he would “do it in a minute,” prompting Nash to add that he thought “it would do just fine.”

“If there are observers who are not willing to do so [strike]Then Anees added, “They are not ready to put their money where it is.” “If you really think gambling is so bad, you should be prepared to take a week off.”

Ongoing issue

Fast forward to Tuesday, when Twitch responded with Tweet “Update about gambling on Twitch. Under the new rules that will take effect on October 18, Twitch said it will ban broadcasts of “gambling sites that include gambling, roulette or dice games,” unless they are licensed “either in the United States or in other jurisdictions that provide adequate protection.” consumer.”

“We all did it,” Anais chirp After the Twitch announcement on Tuesday. “Public pressure, tweets, awareness, it all matters.”

If you really think gambling is that bad, you should be prepared to take a week off.

Iman “Nuked” Anis

While Twitch promised more policy details in the coming weeks, it made clear that “websites focused on sports betting, fantasy sports and poker” would not be included in the gambling restrictions. This is an exception that seems likely to annoy high-profile gambling-based streaming creators like Tyler “Trainwrecks” Niknam, One of the most popular characters on the stage.

“To be clear, people make scapegoats, [blackjack] Roulette and not blaming the individual, is the real problem.” Niknam Tweet Sunday. “Furthermore, Slicker was addicted to sports betting, which is the only kind of gambling that is normalized…”

Many players who focus on gambling hide or reduce their gambling losses during broadcasts or induce their viewers to take advantage of promotional deals from gambling sites (something that has been restricted in part by Twitch). But it seems Niknam is doing his best to highlight how these games are designed to give the house an edge and drain players’ money. “This is not the reality of gambling, you will lose” Niknam Wrote in a recent tweet It features a clip of Roulette’s $2.25 million win alongside Drake. In his Instagram bio, he wrote: “Gamble lose, don’t gamble.”

But Niknam is also facing some controversy due to allegations of Sending tens of thousands of dollars to Twitch employees in cryptocurrency During the flow of giveaways, a move that some see as a reward for protecting his position on the platform. In response to a request for comment from Ars, Twitch noted that employees involved in this giveaway “are no longer Twitch employees, and have not been for some time.”

Niknam did not respond to a request for comment from Ars Technica but said in a recent broadcast that he “lived this in front of 60,000 people. If there was a conspiracy, there would be hidden direct messages from me… It was a fun joke.”

Whatever final rules Twitch decides about gambling on the platform, it’s unlikely that this problem will go away any time soon. Slots seem to make up too much of Twitch for the company to ban them completely. On the other hand, the platform now appears to be suffering some serious reputational damage among some viewers and viewers due to its gambling links. As sports broadcasters recently discovered, walking a tightrope can be challenging.

(Ashley Bellanger contributed to this report)

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