Twitch Casino Promotions Illegal Say Lawmakers
Tyler Niknam is a 31-year-old Twitch streamer better known to his followers by his alias, Trainwreckstv. He has more than 1.5 million followers and is active on a range of outlets, including Twitter and YouTube. He is also at the eye of a storm due to his promotional activities regarding Stake.com. It is a cryptocurrency casino licensed and regulated by Curaçao but not in the United States of America.
This means that Niknam may be in trouble with the law in his home state of Austin, Texas. Not only does Texas forbid all kinds of casino gambling, it has a veto on sports betting as well.
Trainwreckstv streamed content which showed him playing virtual slots at the casino and is also facing criticism for promoting unhealthy gambling behaviour. He is, however, just one of many Twitch streamers that have recently entered into deals with online gambling sites. This means that the way that this problem is dealt with may have far-reaching effects for other users.
A Paid Partnership
Part of Trainwreckstv’s agreement with Stake.com is that he publishes footage of him playing some of the reel games the site hosts. The catalogue includes titles from big-name providers like Microgaming, Playtech, Quickspin, Play ‘n GO, and Red Tiger Gaming. He’s claimed at times to have won amounts of $400 000 but also talked about losing big.
Apparently, the streamer was down $100 000 at some point in April and told his viewers that he’d actually lost $2 million trying to win this money back. He was doing this by, essentially, throwing good money after bad.
Illegal Gambling Issues
American legal experts have stated that Niknam promoting online casino gameplay is an illicit activity because the site has no license in Texas or the USA at large. Thus, the only way he could be playing real money games would be by using Virtual Private Networks, which is also illegal.
Jeff Ifrah, an attorney with a specialisation in online gambling law, spoke with WIRED, the monthly American magazine published as print and virtual content. He has stated that Niknam could well face prosecution right alongside Stake.com but it’s more difficult to bring the operators to book because they’re located offshore.
WIRED reportedly tried contacting both the streamer and the cryptocurrency casino to get feedback from the pair regarding this issue, but neither responded. Trainwreckstv has moved to Canada recently and has continued streaming his gameplay at Stake.com.