Twitch Is Keeping An Eye on Controversial Gambling Streams
The Twitch community has spoken out repeatedly about the trouble with gambling streams. There are some pretty huge streamers running gambling streams on Twitch, where they run slots for hours upon end. This is perhaps thanks to the rise of cryptocurrency casinos. It’s been said that 64 of the top 1,000 most-trafficked Twitch streamers have gambled on the crypto slots, or advertise deals with a variety of crypto gambling websites. There are a wealth of dangers when it comes to gambling streams, and not even just potentially going broke live on the stream. It very well could be that these streamers are playing with currency provided by the sites, to get more people interested. So what’s the big deal with gambling streams? Do they need to be monitored for the safety of others? Absolutely.
Gambling can be a lot of fun. Especially when you get a seriously big win. But gambling addiction is a serious danger, and it’s being presented in a harmful manner on Twitch. Mizkif pointed out in a Twitch stream that he wasn’t even using his own money. He was receiving offers to stream gambling on Twitch for 35,000 an hour, for ten hours. That is an incredible amount of money. He also pointed out that his sponsors would refill his account so he could gamble freely without fear of losing any actual money.
Mizkif did stop doing this at one point. But why? He had this to say:
“Morality came into play. It did. I felt shitty doing any type of gambling sponsorship. And I know people are like, Mizkif, but you do sponsors all fucking day. If you download Dungeons and Dragons, what’s the worst that happens? You lose $40 and a couple of hours of your life. Gambling is different.”
He clearly understood there was a danger here. Quite a few of the major players on Twitch spoke about the dangers of these streams, from Pokimane to xQc. Twitch isn’t going to stop gambling streams though. They just made it clear that streamers must “respect all applicable local, national, and international laws while using [Twitch] services. Any content or activity featuring, encouraging, offering, or soliciting illegal activity is prohibited.”
So what’s the problem, if people are obeying the law in these streams? There are a few problems. If the gambling sites are giving Twitch streamers free money to gamble with, it’s a false representation of what gambling is like. There are a host of young, impressionable fans of these streamers, and if they see it’s easy and fun, it is incredibly irresponsible. Streamers with primarily younger audiences owe it to them to be role models to the kids. Promoting gambling as something safe and fun to do without risks is not wise. In addition, there is likely a fair amount of gambling on Twitch that is not above board. With so many minors on Twitch, it’s very concerning how popular the “Slots” category is becoming on the site.
There’s more to gambling on the site than slots though. In the past, Moe “m0E” Assad was sponsored by a CSGO skin-gambling site (CSGO Diamonds), and they told him the outcomes of games in advance so he could fix results in his favor. That’s absolutely beyond reproach. There have been a variety of streamers involved in shady deals like that as well, leading people to spend outrageous money on CSGO skin gambling.
So gambling isn’t going to stop on Twitch anytime soon, but hopefully, these streams will actually be monitored more closely. All we have is Twitch’s word, and we have seen time and again that the site is not exactly even-handed in how they hand out punishments. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops to see if a change occurs.