We’re not going to shock you by saying that Twitch has had a number of problems recently. With topics like Twitch’s “do not ban” list leaking and a hacker releasing the company’s source code popping up, it’s easy to see why Twitch-focused conversations aren’t always positive. Yet one of the company’s latest steps surrounding unlicensed gambling streams does indicate one positive step for Twitch.
Previously, fans had outcried over Twitch allowing streams featuring unregistered and/or shady gambling sites. While gambling laws vary from location to location, Twitch’s more lax standards allowed streamers to essentially run unregulated gambling sites via the streaming service.
This is the ultimate result following the exposure of a $300,000+ gambling scam by streamer ItsSliker. In the wake of cries for change and threats of streamer strikes, Twitch eventually gave in and agreed to adjust its terms. While there still isn’t a total ban on gambling, the site seems to be cracking down on less legitimate operations.
The Twitch gambling controversy explained
Thanks to its international presence and lack of total regulation over stream content, Twitch essentially allowed underground casinos to operate on its platform. Viewers would be able to come into one of these streams and bet real money on games of chance.
It has been incredibly popular, as gambling streams made up a significant portion of Twitch’s viewership. The Slots category specifically is one of Twitch’s most viewed categories, which is often more popular than Fortnite on the platform. Some of this content is completely legal under gambling law, but there were plenty of opportunities for streamers to scam their audiences with illegally-processed donations and crypto casinos (the latter of which is banned under U.S. gambling law).
Twitch’s new rules suggest a tightening of the screws but not a full destruction of online gambling via the service. Essentially, by going after unlicensed gambling streams and sites, the company can maintain the profit from gambling streams while still covering itself in the event of a major fraud attempt. Not a perfect solution, yet a step in the right direction.
What do you think of Twitch’s new gambling stream policy? Let us know!
Via PC Gamer.