It’s been a rough 24 hours for people broadcasting in purple. After a scandal broke that a Twitch streamer had been scamming viewers and peers alike out of an alleged $200,000 to fund a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive addiction, top personalities started exerting pressure on the live-streaming company to do something about the larger, underlying problem. Gambling, many have been arguing for a while now, has become a scourge on the platform, as a number of rich creators promoted potentially harmful content to young, impressionable fans. While Twitch appeared to just let it happen for a long time, the Amazon-owned platform announced a massive change regarding gambling streams today that will have big ramifications for creators and viewers alike.
According to a new update issued on social media, Twitch will no longer allow “streaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licensed in the U.S. or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protections.” The list currently includes Stake.com, Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com, and Roobet.com though Twitch says that it may expand as the company continues to evaluate the situation. Twitch will however continue to allow sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker. These appear to be the high-level changes that will take effect starting on October 18th, and Twitch is geared to share more specifics soon.
While we don’t yet have all the information regarding gambling on the platform, it’s likely that Twitch is sharing these key details early due to all the commotion that’s been kicked up in late September. Earlier this week, streamers like Pokimane suggested they would team up with some of the other popular personalities on the platform and strike during a high-volume time, like Christmas, unless Twitch issued a statement on the crisis or decreed new gambling rules.
While the new rules don’t ban gambling outright, they do take aim at some of the biggest websites that are either favored by streamers, or sponsor well-known streamers. And the ramifications will be huge: Not only is gambling one of the most popular categories of content, with the biggest faces on the platform such as xQc partaking, some creators like Tyler Faraz “Trainwreck” Niknam have stated that they make up to a million a month from the gambling companies they feature on-stream.
That’s not counting how much might be made from viewers gambling while sharing the referral codes streamers blast on stream (something they no longer can do), or any other sponsorships a Twitch streamer might receive through more conventional means on the platform. While these streamers have stressed in the past that they’ve told viewers not to gamble themselves, it was obvious that business was booming.
In its announcement, Twitch reminded people that it already had some gambling rules in place, but that “some people circumvent those rules and expose our community to potential harm.”
While the new rules aren’t live yet, people who pushed for this change are celebrating. There was, after all, plenty of skepticism over whether or not Twitch would do anything further about gambling, with some highly-visible creators like Hasan Abi expressing that the activity simply generated too much revenue for the platform to prohibit it outright.
“We did it y’all,” Pokimane, who got over 300,000 people expressing support against gambling streams in a single day, tweeted. “Public pressure, tweets, raising awareness, it all matters.”