Gambling streams and Twitch have a bit of a checkered past. However, while some have concerns about gambling on the platform, its popularity and appeal to viewers are undeniable, with millions of total views and thousands of regular viewers.
In September 2022, articles along the lines of “Twitch Bans Gambling” spread like wildfire. These titles have a glimmer of truth but are quite misleading.
If you like playing slots, and online casino games or enjoy online gambling streams, read on to find out what happened, Twitch’s response and what it all actually means for streamers and viewers.
The History of Gambling on Twitch
Twitch is one of the world leaders in interactive streaming. Although the platform originally focussed on gaming and esports, it now provides all sorts of entertainment for a broad audience.
The majority of its 2.5 million regular viewers, around 60% of its 18+ viewers, are aged 18-34. As a result, many of the streams are targeted towards a more adult audience than its gaming heritage might suggest.
One genre that has grown significantly on Twitch is gambling streams. It originally started with more skill-based gambling, such as poker, which appealed to many adult gamers.
Poker streams have been around for around 10 years, and many of its original best streamers are still around. These include the likes of Jason Summerville, the “Godfather of Twitch Poker,” and Ben Sprag, a PokerStars-sponsored player.
Over the years, betting on Twitch has become increasingly popular. Online slot, poker and virtual casino streamers vicariously provide entertainment to their viewers, who get to see the streamer’s reactions to big wins and frustrating losses.
Most streams even provide social space to learn and interact with viewers of similar interests.
Fast-forward to 2021, online Slot streams became one of the most watched categories on Twitch.
Although its popularity has slightly diminished, it still remains a highly popular category. The top five slot streamers alone boast tens of thousands of regular viewers and millions of total views.
So What’s the Slot Streamer Controversy?
Streaming online casino games to a live audience has always been a little controversial on Twitch. Twitch’s age restrictions, while present, are admittedly mediocre, meaning underage viewers can be exposed to gambling. There is also the key distinction between skill-based casino games such as poker and predominantly luck-based games such as slots.
Many of the biggest streamers, particularly slot streamers, have had significant controversy surrounding them due to being sponsored by online casinos.
There are many allegations of ‘fake slot streamers’ using fake money to bet or being refunded or bankrolled by online casinos. Frankly, many of these allegations are probably accurate, though hard to prove.
But even if this is true, what’s the harm? The viewers aren’t spending their money playing slots; they’re simply watching a stream. Many of them are also aware that these streams are ‘fake’ and see them as WWE-style entertainment and drama.
While this argument makes some sense, many streamers use huge stake sizes, partake in expensive Bonus hunts and are largely frivolous to losses. For viewers unaware of the potentially bogus nature of these streams, watching them could cause irresponsible and dangerous gambling habits.
But is it the responsibility of Twitch or even the streamers themselves to baby their viewers? Legally, probably not. Morally, probably yes.
Another cause for concern was promotional links to online casinos that were unlicensed and unregulated in the US. Providing promo codes and promotional links was not permissible under Twitch’s policies, but some streamers ignored or circumvented this rule.
It is always best to play at the best online US casinos. These are regulated and have safeguards that make it easier and safer to play for fun– without playing beyond your means.
These are just some of the issues and fuel that would eventually spark the latest controversy about irresponsible gambling practices on Twitch.
The latest Twitch slot streamer controversy occurred when streamer ‘ItsSliker’ released a teary confession. He and other streamers have admitted to lying and essentially scamming the Twitch community and other streamers to fund their addiction.
As a result, several prolific streamers, such as Mizkif and Pokimane, called for Twitch to take action and ban gambling on Twitch – or at least improve their regulation.
Twitch responded to this on September 18th, stating they would be updating their policies soon.
So, Did Twitch Ban Gambling?
Not really, no. Although the specifics of the policy changes won’t go live till October 18th, the announcement implied much smaller changes.
Twitch confirmed the following:
- Banning the streaming of games played on several off-shore and online casinos that are not regulated in the US.
- Enforcing existing prohibitions on referral codes and promotional links to all online casinos.
- Continuing to allow streams of websites focussed on sports betting, fantasy sports and poker.
While not banning gambling outright, the policy changes will reduce the risk of unlicensed and under-regulated casino sites to Twitch’s users. So it seems like gambling on Twitch is here to stay, though there will be improved – long-overdue – regulation and safeguarding.
So, What Happens Next?
While we have to wait and see the exact details of the policy change, what Twitch has outlined seems like a step in the right direction.
To those who (legally) enjoy it, watching and playing casino games can and should be enjoyable entertainment. Therefore, gambling streams on Twitch will likely remain a place where slot, poker and other casino game enjoyers can watch professionals and entertainers play the latest games.
Twitch and its streamers are obviously making money from it too. So it’s in their best interests to find solutions that suit all parties, rather than just outright banning gambling. How well they pull it off remains to be seen!
Play Online Slots Without The Drama
The important thing is to ensure that players are safe and not being taken advantage of by questionable casinos. It is also important that there is transparency on anything that involves a player or viewer spending their own money.
While Twitch is still working on that, the CasinoRange team has ensured we offer our customers the best iGaming options and online slots. We only work with fully regulated, licenced and reputable casinos and rate them using our Trust Range. This ensures you can play the best games at a safe, secure, fun casino that suits your iGaming preferences.
Our slot reviews are a great way to check out the games online streamers are playing and decide for yourself if you’d like to play them. We make it easy for you to find the most enjoyable games and have the best chance to win – while you enjoy the best promotions and welcome bonuses available!