Twitch prohibits unlicensed gambling streams as influential streamers threaten strike

Twitch has updated its regulations on gambling on the streaming platform, following an outcry from streamers.

The new policy prohibits streaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licensed in the US or “other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection” from 18th October.

This follows strike threats from some of the biggest Twitch streamers after former Team Liquid member ItsSliker admitted to have scammed viewers and fellow streamers out of $200k to fund his gambling addiction.

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The news of ItsSliker broke when a video of him asking for money leaked on reddit. Streamer Lukeafk also admitted to loaning ItsSliker $27k.

“It’s time for the truth,” said ItsSliker on a Just Chatting stream. “If you haven’t heard, I borrowed money off people…To the people that are watching, I know I will never be able to ask for forgiveness. I’m ill.

“I never intended on scamming anyone and I will still pay off the people I owe… what I did was horrible, lying to multiple people out there.”

Gambling on Twitch has been a huge issue for some time. Earlier this year, streamer xQc revealed he lost $1.85m in one month to online casinos – something he does frequently on stream – stating “it’s fun and I can afford doing it”.

After the ItsSliker story broke, xQc, along with streamers Ludwig and Mizkif, promised to repay fans who loaned money.

And other streamers called on Twitch to ban gambling. Pokimane, Mizkif, Destiny, and Devin Nash discussed plans on stream to hold a strike during the holiday season to hit the platform financially.

Clearly this pressure worked, with Twitch following up with its latest update.

While this is certainly a welcome move, it proves the power that these larger streamers have – power that hasn’t been used on previous occasions.

Many streamers joined the A Day Off Twitch campaign last summer after minority streamers were bombarded with hate raids, but some of the biggest names on the platform refused to join as they felt it wouldn’t make a difference. Asmongold, for instance, has called for ItsSliker and gambling to be banned, yet he refused to join the hate raid strike because “Nobody gives a fuck if you take the day off. Nobody knows who you are”.

Hypocrisy continues elsewhere, as Mizkif has been accused of covering up sexual assault committed by fellow streamer CrazySlick, as TheVerge reports.

A full update to the Twitch gambling policy is expected soon, ahead of 18th October. Websites focusing on sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker will still be allowed.

What’s more, this isn’t an outright ban on gambling but only those that aren’t licensed, meaning gambling will still remain possible on the platform, as DevinNash points out.

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