Twitch casino ban: How did we get here?
CasinoDaddy and Roshtein started streaming slots in 2016. Twitch tried to crack down on skin betting. It warned users to stop streams promoting skin gambling. The ban was lifted on December 1. It was imposed after Counter-Strike: Global Offensive developer Valve sent cease-and-desist notices to skin betters.
In September 2018, Twitch created a category for casino gaming. In December 2018 it created another category, which attracted more than 10,000 viewers per day. The section is already a source of controversy, as it features little to no age-gating of content and a number of unlicensed operators are promoted.
Streaming of casino gaming goes mainstream in 2019. PokerStars introduces an in-client integration that allows players to link their Twitch account and their Pokerstars account.
The Covid-19 pandemic allows casino streaming to take off more rapidly than ever before. Kim Hultman, who hosts the LetsGiveItaSpin channel, raises €47,000 for Covids relief charities with a 24-hour streaming challenge. Survey in July 2020 found that 4.1% of respondents in a sample of 1,081 UK adults had watched a live stream of someone gambling online in the past 12 months.
Superaffiliate Acroud is planning to build a new streaming community and offer an all-in-one service to grow their channel. Video game streamers such as Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel and Tyler “Trainwreckstv” Niknam agree sponsorship deals with cryptocurrency casinos.
Lengyel is the first to announce that he will stop streaming casino games on Twitch. Stake.com is most-promoted gambling operator on the platform. Many content creators discuss the use of funds provided by casinos. Some of them call for a complete ban on streaming casinos on Twitter.
Adin Ross accidentally broadcast his direct messages on a stream. He was talking about his income from cryptocasino Duelbits and TrainwrecksTV.
Twitch will ban sharing links and referral codes to gambling-related sites. Time2play, an affiliate site owned by the Kafe Rocks Group, launched a new streaming platform with age-gating and other player protection features. LiveSpins offers streaming integrated directly into operator sites and the ability for viewers to bet along with streamers.
The ban had an instant impact on slots streams. Slots streams hit a trough in October 2021 with 18.3 million hours watched. Viewership numbers slowly picked up again.
Slots viewing hours on Twitch hit a new high at 36.3 million in March. Lengyel returned to streaming slots in May. Sykkuno coined the phrase “gambling meta” in reference to the gaming trend on the site.
Casino streams become one of the top 10 categories on twitch. Drake is the biggest name to enter the casino streaming space. The genre is under scrutiny. Senator Ted Cruz is pushing for a ban on gambling on the platform.
Abraham "Sliker" Mohammed admits that he had scammed fans and content creators out of at least $200,000 after developing an addiction to betting on esports matches. The news prompted a greater backlash against the category. Twitch announced its new crackdown on slots, roulette and dice games.
The new ban will come into force next month. Before it comes into place, Twitch promises more clarity on the specifics. There is a lack of clarity over what counts as an appropriate level of regulation or as a casino-first site.