How Twitch Is Enforcing Its New Ban on Gambling Streams

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How Twitch Is Enforcing Its New Ban on Gambling Streams
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Starting today, Twitch is officially implementing its ban on gambling content.

Its new stance, that the company calls an effort "to address scams and other harms stemming from questionable gambling sites," comes two days after rapper Drake posted a stream of himself playing roulette in collaboration with popular online gambling website Stake. The event drew in nearly 22,000 viewers.

Stake.com is specifically listed as a site that Twitch is prohibiting, given that it is clamping down on betting platforms that are "unlicensed in the US or other jurisdictions that offer consumer protections." (Stake is licensed in Curacao.)

In a blog post on Tuesday, Twitch said that it will begin to penalize users who infringe on this new policy. This can mean a suspension of one's account, or a warning that could lead to a future suspension, depending on how many previous violations a user already has. The company wants to allow for a grace period for people to adjust to the new policy.

"As with all of our policies, your account may receive an enforcement if you stream these prohibited sites," the company said, listing a number of banned domains that included rollbit.com, duelbits.com, and roobet.com. "That said, we know this may be an adjustment for some, and will be levering warnings in addition to suspensions in applicable cases in order to be fairer to streamers who may not have understood the change yet."

Had Drake posted his recent stream on Tuesday, he and his account would be flagged for it — just like any other user, a spokesperson for Twitch told Insider.

How Twitch will regulate accounts caught violating its new policy

The spokesperson told Insider that Twitch will be looking at gambling on a case-by-case basis.

Unlike other platforms like TikTok and YouTube, Twitch's punishment system isn't automated. The platform enforces its policies through three tiers of punishment, which it says it tenders after considering the intent and context of the violation, potential harm to the community, and other factors:

  • A first offense triggers a courtesy warning, which may also result in the removal of associated content.
  • Repeated violations result in a temporary suspension that can range from one to 30 days.
  • For the most serious offenses, Twitch can immediately suspend an account without the opportunity to appeal.

Twitch announced its gambling ban in September, and received an immediate and overwhelmingly positive reaction from its online community. "GREATEST POLICY UPDATE IN 2022," , an e-sports commentator and streamer with 3.1 million Twitch followers. The company said it is trying to address potential scams and harm that gambling games, such as slots, roulette, or dice, can cause.

It said at the time of the announcement that it would share the full policy before the new rules went into effect to ensure that users understood them. But Twitch unveiled the new policy on October 18, the same day it took effect.

Twitch said this motion — the strictest position it's taken on gambling on its platform thus far — is in response to a growing number of concerns about the practice from the community.

"Last year, in order to address scams and other harms stemming from questionable gambling sites, we prohibited sharing links or referral codes to sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games," the company said. "After monitoring the update's impact for the last year—as well as hearing directly from you — it became clear that some people were circumventing those rules, and that further steps were necessary."

Along with the major gambling websites listed, Twitch may ban more gambling sites if deemed necessary. The company said it considers a number of factors when determining if a gambling site is safe enough to promote, like whether it has limits on deposits, waiting periods, and/or age verification of players.

"We also take into account whether streamers use or encourage VPNs to evade geoblocking, and whether the site is licensed in the US or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protections," the company said.

Twitch still allows streams of fantasy sports, sports betting, and poker, which are largely regulated in the US.

Before the new rules took effect, Drake squeezed in a final gambling stream. The rapper has a longstanding partnership with Stake and is a prolific gambler himself.

He also took the opportunity to criticize Twitch in his stream for taking this new stance on gambling — a view that has been shared by other prominent streamers.

"Twitch get your shit together," Drake said, in the video. "You guys stream video games of people killing people all day, I'm sure we're not doing that much harm."

Twitch's spokesperson declined to comment on Drake's remark, and deferred to the new community guidelines.

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