Twitch may reconsider its views on gambling streaming sometime in the near future. The company has banned the distribution of referral codes to online casinos and other gambling sites. However, this comes after months of controversy and multiple incidents in which lives have been destroyed or even lost due to such flows.
News about the policy change came from a Twitch spokesperson who recently describe How the platform “deeply researches gambling behaviour”. In an interview with Bloomberg, the spokesperson added: “We take any potential harm to our community very seriously. While gambling content is only a small fraction of what is streamed on Twitch, we monitor it closely to ensure our approach Mitigate potential harm to our global community.”
The debate surrounding gambling began when streamer xQc began accepting sponsorships from online casinos and handing out referral codes, most notably a site called Stake. The content creator has previously said he will stop accepting such sponsorships until he continues to admit he has a gambling problem. “I’m just very addicted, so I shouldn’t be gambling,” xQc said at the time. “I still do it. Is this okay? No, that’s horrible. That’s a disease. That’s a disease. I’m sick. But you know what? I have the ability to get sick. I’m lucky.” Noting that he lost more than $2 million at online casinos and other gambling sites, he revealed that his followers have lost more than $119 million in the process.
Some content creators like Asmongold and Pokimane are very open about their opposition to gambling streams. Ludwig and Hassan are a bit equivocal on the matter, but clearly critical. “What really matters is whether the rules change,” Asmongold commented in May. “No one will stop gambling unless the rules change.” The content creator went on to describe how Twitch is preventing the practice. “Twitch may change the rules,” the streamer noted. “Twitch can say ‘no, stop gambling,’ and they can remove the slot machine category today, and they can say ‘if you play a slot machine, you’re permanently banned.’ That’s it. Literally.”
This comes after many cautionary tales about gambling streams. An unnamed source explained: “Back in early June, a relative of mine (I’ll just call him Alex) stumbled across a promoted gambling stream from a very large streamer. “The anchor started promoting gambling again in May after saying he was no longer gambling last year.” The source noted, “Alex was easily swayed by the multiple six-figure bonuses the streamer received and ultimately decided Try the slot machines on the Stake website, just for fun.”
“From the bank statements Alex left behind, Alex started gambling $25 a day, which eventually escalated to $2,500 in the third week of June,” the source commented. “By the fourth week of June, Alex refused to leave his apartment, and when we communicated, his speech was always extremely gloomy.”
Alex apparently stopped responding to any kind of communication in July. “We sent a welfare check and it turned out that Alex hanged himself,” the source said. “Alex left a detailed note and we were able to determine that the reason he did it was gambling. “We could see constant deductions from his bank transactions, presumably to buy cryptocurrency for Stake. His bank account was completely drained. “
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