Twitch Finally Agrees to Ban Unlicensed Gambling Content

The ongoing tug of war between gambling hawks and gambling doves on Twitch, a popular streaming platform owned by Amazon, has finally resulted in the company stepping in to settle the issue. Starting in October, Twitch will no longer allow streaming of gambling websites that aren’t licensed in the United States or other jurisdictions that “provide sufficient consumer protection.”

Twitch Moves Swiftly Against Gambling Websites

In other words, the platform will focus on only licensed websites, which begs the question if Curacao licenses would count as sufficient. Curacao generally has laxer regulatory rules, and its licenses aren’t recognized in the United States, for example, but an answer was already provided in the original statement. Twitch announced its decision in a tweet on Tuesday and partially, it seems, in response to the unfolding drama that involved numerous top-tier streamers, including Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo who criticized Sliker, a fellow streamer who borrowed money to gamble.  

According to reports, Sliker borrowed “thousands of dollars” with a false pretense to support problem gambling while actually spending the money on gambling himself. This and previous appeals, including a petition to shut down unregulated gambling streams on the platform, have prompted Twitch to act it seems.

Starting on October 18, Twitch streamers will no longer have access to at least several websites, which are presently some of the biggest sponsors of gambling content on the platform. These include Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com, Roobet.com, and Stake.com.

Stake.com, in particular, has been associated with a number of prominent figures and streamers, including Félix “xQc” Lengyel who has been blamed for switching to gambling because of a tidy sponsorship deal. Mizkif has been a fierce critic of the man ever since xQc made his return to gambling streams earlier this year.

Twitch added that it may continue to include gambling websites on its list of prohibited streams. However, the platform assured that players will have the opportunity to continue focusing on fantasy sports, sports betting, and poker. Twitch tried to keep things separate, hosting a separate slots category, which quickly topped to the very top of the streaming giant, prompting many to blame the platform for selling out.

All That Is Being Done Is to Protect Consumers

In the latest update, Twitch assured, however, that everything it has done so far has been with the idea of ensuring that consumers are protected. The platform’s statement continued:

While we prohibit sharing links or referral codes to all sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games, we’ve seen some people circumvent those rules and expose our community to potential harm.

Twitch

Twitch explained that starting in October, the platform will take a much stricter approach because of the loopholes some streamers have found around its policy guidelines. This, some have said, is a long overdue move, but one that could have a positive impact on audiences who are not sent to offshore gambling websites.

Interestingly, this new development flies in the face of a prediction xQc made earlier this year, i.e. that Twitch would never ban gambling content. While technically true, Twitch did go after arguably the biggest sponsors of content on the platform. Now, it remains to be seen if streamers who swore by gambling would continue pushing for it by switching to other sites and brands that are considered legal.

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