Twitch is one of the world’s most popular streaming platforms. While you can stream almost anything on Twitch, the platform is used predominantly by gamers streaming themselves playing video games, usually online. The popularity of the platform has grown hugely in recent years, with people becoming full time streamers on Twitch and receiving donations from viewers and sponsorships from various companies on top of this. In recent years, many different celebrities including stand up comedians, MMA fighters and wrestlers, have started using Twitch as another revenue stream and as a way to reach a new generation of fans.
Gambling & Twitch
iGaming and Twitch have had a fractured relationship over the years. Starting in 2016, hugely popular streamers like CasinoDaddy and Roshtein began streaming video slots. CasinoGrounds, a safe haven for video slot streamers, also formed their community in 2016. The first issues with gambling started around this time, as the platform tried to clamp down on skin gambling after the developers of the Counterstrike games sent out a cease-and-desist notice to skin betting sites.
By 2018, interest in live casino game streaming was growing rapidly and this was reflected in the creation of a specific category for casino gaming on Twitch. By now, the increase in the availability of safe and secure live online casinos coupled with the popularity of the casino category on Twitch meant that you could find a large number of streamers on Twitch playing games like live roulette or slots.
Over the next years the category continued to grow, with many being suspicious of the huge numbers that casino twitch streams were pulling. This all came to a head in 2021, when a popular streamer revealed that he had conned fellow streamers and fans out of money to pay for his gambling expenses.
This prompted a reaction from other streamers on the platform. Some decided to have a fundraiser to return the lost money while others demanded Twitch change their policy on streaming casino games.
Controversies Surrounding Live Casino Streams
As mentioned before, it took one streamer to start a policy change towards casino streaming on Twitch. The streamer that caused it all was Sliker. He was a decent streamer with a large number of views and a solid fan base. He liked playing CS: GO and placing bets on the outcomes of matches. He would play the game to get skins of weapons and characters that could be used to bet on the game or be sold to other people.
The controversy started when released apology video to his fans and fellow streamers where he said he was sorry for spending $200,000 to bet on CS:GO matches. On top of the money that viewers sent to him via the donate button on his Twitch channel, he also reached out to fellow streamers personally to request donations to help pay his debts. He did imply that he would pay this money back, which he did not.
Certain streamers had been against betting and casino game streaming on Twitch for some time when this scandal broke, which is why they decided to act against the platform. Streamers like Pokimaine, MizKif, and Devin started sending complaints which caused officials at Twitch to disclose how they made their revenue. It was revealed that the platform didn’t have a strict policy when it came to streaming casino games and that a huge portion of the revenue on Twitch came from those streams.
As mentioned earlier, these actions also inspired some streamers to start streams where they would raise the $200,000 and give it back to the people that had been scammed out of their money. All of this helped to bring about the policy change from the higher ups at Twitch.
The Change of Policy
It took the platform some time to respond, but when they did, they decided to listen to their streamers. The new policy includes new measures to prevent streamers playing live casino games from unlicensed operators. In other words, streamers can’t play dice, slots or roulette games unless they’re licensed in the US or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection. They will continue to allow Poker, sports betting and fantasy sports.
Many streamers are looking at this policy as a partial ban on live casino streaming. The casino streamers will need to switch to the crypto casinos based in Curacao or sites under US jurisdiction and they will be able to stream the games that they have been streaming so far. Those that stream poker can continue focusing on the game.
Twitch may have further changes in the future, but the fact that a large portion of Twitch income comes from these kinds of streams also suggests that the platform won’t completely ban live casino streams. Time will tell if Twitch takes a different stance on live casino game streaming on their platform.