Recently, Twitch’s leadership team took to the airwaves to announce it would be issuing a ban (of sorts) on gambling streams. There was an overview of dramatic changes coming to the platform’s Terms of Service that would prohibit the streaming of a string of gambling sites. In recent months, gambling has become a sore spot for many Twitch users, and it’s a topic that has struck up a controversial debate, with both sides of the table becoming quite heated.
For more than a year, Twitch has been dipping itself in and out of hot water, and it seems that a new scandal surfaces every month. In September, it was revealed that one Twitch partner had allegedly scammed viewers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s no big secret that some of the most popular ‘gambling meta’ streamers, such as xQc, have invested (and lost) millions of dollars while gambling on stream.
Now, Twitch has put that ban into full effect, but what does this mean for the platform?
Has Twitch Banned Gambling For Good?
On the 20th of September, the Twitch Twitter channel posted an update on the gambling situation. It said, quite transparently:
‘We’ll be making a policy update on October 18th to prohibit streaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licensed either in the U.S. or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection.’
This announcement named a string of platforms: Rollbit, Duelbits, Roobet, and perhaps the most prolific platform, Stake.com. As the hammer fell swiftly on the 18th of October, many gambling meta streamers announced that they’d be pushing out one last gambling-focused stream. As an expansion to the update, Twitch also stated that users on the platform must not:
- Share a referral code to a slots site with their chat
- Include a banner with a link to online roulette games
- Verbally refer their chat to a site containing dice games
It was also suggested that Twitch would look unfavourably on streamers advocating for the use of VPNs to evade geoblocking practices. As a relatively impactful update, the Twitch gambling rules have completely removed the ‘Slots’ category from the platform’s browser. At the time of writing this article, many streamers that are gambling are stressing heavily on their broadcast that they’re using a platform with consumer protection in place.
As this impacts some of the highest-paid Twitch streamers, like Trainwrecks and xQc, there has been some backlash from the community. For the most part, the Twitch audience is responding positively to the changes, but it’ll be interesting to see how the situation unfolds going forward.
From the 18th of October, the new rules go into effect, and to start with, Twitch will be giving ‘offending streamers’ a brief grace period by issuing warnings instead of suspensions. Will these rule changes switch up the meta? Let’s wait and see.