Online streaming giant Twitch has announced that as of 17th August, links and referral codes shared by users to sites offering slots, roulette, or dice games will be banned.
Users failing to comply could face sanctions, according to Twitch, which added that it is continuing to monitor the sharing of gambling-related content across its platforms, and would update its rules again if necessary.
The mega-popular company, which had an average of 26.5 million visitors daily in 2020, had come under fire for its approach to online gambling streams, which are very popular on the site.
The burgeoning success of the content has, in some ways, been a poisoned chalice. The wide and mainstream appeal of the content makes streams vulnerable to manipulation.
In one recent case, for example, an exposé by WIRED magazine in July described how one top streamer, Tyler Nikham, played slots offered by one of his channel’s sponsors, Stake.com to live audiences of up to 25,000.
“He’d be winning big, sometimes as much as $400,000 in crypto in one fell swoop, and he never seemed to go broke”, the article described.
“Some streamers”, the article alleges, “may be playing with house money. Keeping up the appearance of painless fun, crypto casinos sponsoring these streamers refresh their digital wallets with money, according to videos, leaked chats, and interviews with individuals knowledgable about crypto gambling on Twitch.”
While some commentators had been calling for the company to ban streams of gambling content totally, its banning of gambling links could puncture the profitability of iGaming affiliates acting as streamers on the site.
“To prevent harms and scams created by questionable services that sponsor content on Twitch, we will prohibit sharing links and/or referral codes to sites that offer slots, roulette or dice games”, Twitch said in a creator update.
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