Streamers React Twitch Ban of Unlicensed Gambling Content


The live streaming platform has become a hive of activity for gamblers and, in turn, online gambling companies, including PokerStars, the WSOP, and the WPT, over the last five years. However, in a statement released on Tuesday, Twitch executives confirmed that gambling content will be subject to tighter controls.

As per the statement, gambling content has been a “big topic of discussion” in recent months and, after reviewing the company’s policies, executives have pulled the plug on unlicensed ads. Specifically, streamers won’t be able to promote online gambling companies that aren’t licensed in the U.S. or other jurisdictions that provide “sufficient consumer protection.”

Twitch Embraces Responsible Gambling Culture

The decision follows an increase in the number of paid promotions involving unlicensed slots, casino and dice game sites. Some of the most prominent offenders banned from paying streamers to promote their products are Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com, and Roobet.com.

The good news for poker players and sports bettors is that these activities won’t be affected because the new restrictions will mainly focus on unlicensed casinos. However, Twitch also reserves the right to ban streamers promoting poker rooms, sportsbooks, and fantasy sports betting sites that aren’t licensed in at least one recognized jurisdiction. 

Twitch’s tweet received a raft of retweets and comments. Among the 18,000+ comments were questions regarding the decision both as it pertains to gambling and Twitch content in general. SupaCoop30 was confused as to why Twitch wouldn’t ban all gambling content. Joe Hassert, aka BigJoeShow, pointed out that it was a regulatory issue. 

“Because it is unregulated and they run out of countries that can allow casinos to have shady business practices,” Hassert tweeted. 

He also pointed out that the sites specifically named by Twitch are unregulated crypto casinos. 

“They are specifically targeting crypto casinos. There are many more which they did not list,” Hassert continued. 

Hassert’s take is consistent with the evolution of online gambling over the last decade. Responsible gaming policies and increased player protection have become important issues around the world. Not only are online gambling operators bound by these regulations, so too are affiliates. 

Protecting Players is a Priority

Indeed, here at Gambling.com, we only work with legal online sportsbooks, casinos, and poker sites. Basically, we’re complying with national regulations by only promoting licensed operators that comply with national regulations. The result is that you get access to high-quality, safe online gambling sites. 

Twitch wants the same level of protection for its 140 million active monthly users. By restricting content and only allowing streamers to promote licensed operators, the platform won’t run into any legal issues. Moreover, it will help protect viewers from unlicensed and potentially unsafe gambling sites. 

Gaming expert Pierre Lindh called the news “bad” for a lot of major streamers, but “good news for legitimate ones.” Other Twitch users felt there were bigger problems on the platform, such as people using it as an alternative to OnlyFans. 

Gambling has been banned on Twitch but bootleg camgirls hasn’t https://t.co/l2OeEngfdR

Kim Dotcom Gives His Take

One prominent figure within the online world, Kim Schmitz aka Kim Dotcom, said the move was “better late than never.” 

The founder of Megaupload, who was convicted by the Department of Justice in a high-profile computer fraud case, has been lobbying hard against unregulated gambling content.

Thank you @Twitch. Better late than never. My lobbying efforts in partnership with several high-profile business leaders and celebrities have contributed to this decision at @Amazon HQ (owner of Twitch). It all started with this blog post: https://t.co/ip0pcdOE7x https://t.co/ZEm1tG2JFo

In an article he published on Substack, Kim Dotcom questioned how Twitch was able to ensure minors weren’t exposed to online gambling. He also pointed out that a lot of streamers are making large sums of money to promote online casinos, with one in particular (not named) earning $60 million per year. 

Twitch appears to be taking the middle ground between a full ban, as proposed by Kim Dotcom, and stamping out the promotion of unlicensed sites. By allowing streamers to partner with licensed companies and no one else, the issue of underage gambling is essentially nullified. 

This is because operators like PokerStars, 888 and BetMGM Poker all use geolocation and identity checks. These tools ensure customers are in a regulated region and old enough to play. So, by restricting content to licensed gambling sites, Twitch is moving in line with the new culture of responsible gambling at all levels.

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