Twitch gamers are against gambling and crypto casinos?

Nowadays Twitch is one of the most relevant video hosting/live streaming platforms on the Internet. What was originally a means by which games could be “streamed” (i.e. broadcast to a crowd of people live) has now become a popular place where creators can share their thoughts and opinions on topics ranging from video games to online gambling, even to everyday life. Recently, Twitch streamers have been focusing more and more on gambling, especially crypto casinos. The rise in popularity has encouraged many gamers who would not normally find their way to a blockchain casino to try their hand at poker, roulette, blackjack, etc., all the while betting on cryptocurrency.

What are crypto games?

For those who may not know, we first need to understand what crypto gambling is. The name speaks for itself. This means simply gambling in which you use cryptocurrency to play. In recent years, this industry has been experiencing a real renaissance. As you can imagine, online gambling involves playing all your favourite games on a website. It is from online gambling that crypto casinos have evolved. Blockchain casinos are not much different from typical online casinos. In fact, the only real difference is that when playing cryptocurrency games, players place bets using cryptocurrency. Recently, these casinos have become very actual, especially because they are promoted by many online streamers on Twitch. Blockchain casinos emerged in the 2010s when online gambling, in general, wasn’t as widespread as it is today. However, in the last five years or so, there has been a significant surge in the popularity of both traditional and crypto casino websites. These platforms have undergone notable improvements, becoming safer, better regulated, and gaining widespread exposure. Despite these advancements, the rise of crypto casino livestreams on Twitch has sparked concerns for some individuals.

Twitch to ban live streaming of crypto gambling

With the surge in popularity of livestreams featuring crypto casinos, speculations have emerged suggesting that Twitch might enforce a ban. In other words, the company is considering a complete ban on any live gambling broadcasts, especially those that include cryptocurrency gambling. So, what prompted Twitch to ban these streams? Over the past couple of weeks, a number of Twitch streamers, some of whom are extremely popular, have criticised the platform for allowing these live streams to go unchecked. It was because of this criticism that the platform considered stopping these types of live streams. The idea is that the popularity of these streams is leading to more and more people getting hooked on crypto casinos and gambling in general. Many of the more popular influencers make the argument that blockchain casinos are dangerous and that most Twitch users are too young to use them. However, there are several problems with this argument. First, crypto casinos, like any online casino, have to go through a licensing and registration process. A license is only issued when a platform meets certain standards of safety, security, and fairness. This means that a crypto casino is just as safe as any other online casino or even a land-based casino, of course if it is licensed. So, if these Twitch streamers are broadcasting blockchain casinos with the appropriate licenses, there should be no problems.

WIRED research

WIRED published an article about the phenomenon of crypto-casinos and their cooperation with popular streamers, and we have selected the main points from it. Crypto-casino advertisements started appearing quite recently — since April 2021. One of the first streamers who agreed to participate in their promotion was Tyler Nicknam, better known by his nickname Trainwrecks. His channel now has over 1.5 million subscribers, and his broadcasts average 25,000 viewers each. He mostly streamed games like World of Warcraft, but since April, he has completely switched to crypto-casino Stake. Since then, he has been streaming up to twelve hours a day.

Tyler’s excitement can be explained by several factors. First, the recordings of his game broadcasts on Stake gather up to two million views. Secondly, he earns several hundred thousand dollars a day on bets. But the author of WIRED believes that his interest is mainly due to his contract with Stake: the casino pays him a lot of money for advertising the site. For this reason, Tyler even moved to Canada to avoid problems with the law.

Many streamers who advertise Stake and other similar casinos may also move from the US to other countries. The fact is that this business is illegal in the United States: crypto-casinos do not have a license to operate in the country. These companies are registered on the territory of Curacao and other island countries, so their owners do not have to pay taxes on profits.

American streamers have to log in to crypto casinos via VPN to get around the restrictions. So far, this scheme is working, but WIRED experts believe that soon these sites may be interested in the US authorized bodies. The owners of Stake and other crypto-casinos are not threatened, but streamers risk their freedom by advertising illegal gambling.

According to WIRED, at least 64 streamers from the list of most popular streamers on Twitch have been broadcasting their crypto-casino games. Most of them work with the company under an affiliate program. Twitch representatives claim that only the most reputable streamers who can “serve as role models for viewers” are included in the program. It was also recently revealed that streamers do not invest a dime of their savings in crypto-casinos. The owners of the sites replenish their accounts in case they lose, so that they continue to play. This was revealed by streamer Matthew Rinaudo, known by the nickname Mizkif. According to him, under the contract for each hour of broadcasting on crypto-casino he received 35 thousand dollars. At the same time, he undertook to broadcast ten hours of casino games for a month. In June 2021, Matthew refused to cooperate with the crypto-casino on moral grounds. I wasn’t spending my own money in crypto-casinos. Then my conscience woke up. That’s right. I felt shitty about the gambling ads. And I can certainly be told, “But Mizkif, you’re already advertising stuff all day long.” But if you buy some Dungeons & Dragons, you risk losing only 40 dollars and a couple hours of your time. And casinos are a different story. WIRED experts said that the management of Twitch should ban such streams. In their opinion, online casino ads could potentially harm any viewers, especially minors. However, Twitch rules do not prohibit the broadcast of gambling. Nevertheless, representatives of the company assured WIRED that they are closely monitoring developments and checking crypto-casino broadcasts. Perhaps they will be banned soon: Facebook and YouTube have already done it. But right now, streamers are still making millions of dollars from advertising illegal businesses.

Twitch reconsiders its position on gambling

For the past few years, live gambling streams on Twitch have been going unregulated. Only recently, following an outcry from the community, company has taken a strong stand against these cryptocurrency gambling streams. Twitch, on its end, has issued a statement indicating a possible reconsideration of its position on gambling in the future. This deliberation could potentially result in a complete ban on gambling content within Twitch streams. While many say this is not enough, others have issues with the new policy. Many make the argument whether Twitch should ban these streams. Obviously, the company has an obligation to stop this content related to unlicensed gambling, a policy that has been put in place and is being enforced. As for whether the company should ban all gambling, that is worth discussing. Ultimately, as we have said, all licensed gambling sites will require players to provide them with strong proof of their age. This means that these games are only suitable for adults. So, the question is, should we protect the interests of adults who want to try their hand at gambling? We do not have a clear answer, but it is definitely a trendy topic.

Closing remarks

Regardless of the ongoing debate, one certainty remains—there has been enough uproar to compel the company into a thorough reevaluation of its official policy. Twitch is taking significant actions, banning numerous streamers, removing videos, and demonstrating a heightened focus on the oversight of gambling content. Absolutely, ensuring a safe and secure environment for viewers is crucial. Twitch, as a platform, bears a responsibility to shield its audience from potentially harmful content, and that responsibility should extend to unlicensed casinos as well. Prioritizing user well-being is a key aspect of maintaining a trustworthy and enjoyable streaming experience. However, whether this should extend to safe, reliable, and licensed gambling remains a matter of debate.
Dennis Stets

Dennis Stets

Gambling expert

Hello, I’m Dennis. With almost 10 years of experience in the online gambling industry (since 2014), I bring a wealth of expertise to the table. My specialization lies in casinos and crypto casinos, where I have honed my skills and knowledge. Throughout my career, I have written extensively on topics ranging from online poker to sports betting, contributing valuable insights to the field. Explore the dynamic world of the gambling industry through my expert materials and stay informed on the latest trends and developments of gambling world.

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