Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, is banning unlicensed gambling sites from its platform as of Oct. 18.
The decision, which came days after a scamming scandal was revealed on the platform, will ban users from live-streaming slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licensed in the United States or other jurisdictions. Some of the sites that are banned are crypto-gaming sites like Stake.com, Rollbit.com, and Roobet.com, though the company said other sites will may follow. The announcement came via Twitter.
An update on gambling on Twitch. pic.twitter.com/lckNTY9Edo
— Twitch (@Twitch) September 20, 2022
This decision comes on the heels of many of its top users calling for an outright ban on all gambling on the platform.
like if @Twitch should ban gambling
— Mizkif (@REALMizkif) September 18, 2022
— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) September 19, 2022
As to the “why” of the above calls to ban gambling, it stems from the sensational nature of a scandal involving popular Twitch personality ItsSliker, who allegedly scammed other users out of money to fuel his own gambling habit, according to a report by The Verge.
ItsSliker, according to numerous Reddit and Discord threads, used tried-and-true methods in his alleged scam, saying his bank account was frozen and he needed money to pay his bills. Many top streamers sent him large amounts of money and were never paid back, according to the report. ItsSliker took to the platform Saturday, admitting he “borrowed” money from other streamers and that he “lied to many people.”
Soon thereafter, the calls to ban gambling streams on Twitch followed, and Twitch came out with its new guidelines on gambling content Tuesday. Twitch made clear, though, that the ban does not apply to regulated online casino, poker, and sports betting sites.
According to an NBC News report, watching Twitch celebrities play unlicensed gambling games is nearly as popular as watching others play Fortnite. The websites being used by the streamers reportedly pay the talent upward of $1 million a month to promote the sites.