Twitch has seen a significant decrease in traffic since it updated its Prohibited Gaming Content section. The new policy bans unlicensed betting-related content to be viewed by users. The site will only allow streams of iGaming content featuring online casinos legally registered in the United States.
Since its inception in 2011, Twitch has developed into the largest streaming platform in the world. Viewers can watch streams of just about anything you could think of: video games, e-sports, talk shows, cooking, board game reviews, and even just someone’s day-to-day activities. Industry giant Amazon acquired Twitch in 2014 for $970 million and has seen consistent growth since.
Illegal Gambling Content Ban and its Effects
Some of the most popular illegal gambling sites that have been banned on Twitch are Stake.com, Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com, and Roobet.com.
This decision followed a decision made last year by the company that banned all referral codes and shared links that contained gambling content. The companies believe these measures will protect its users as stated in a Twitter post made by Twitch: “While we prohibit sharing links or referral codes to all sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games, we’ve seen some people circumvent those rules and expose our community to potential harm.”
The 22% drop occurred swiftly after these policies were implemented. Twitch once dominated the online streaming market by controlling 96% of it. Currently, it is sitting at 74%. While it is still significantly more than its competitors, we are starting to see the size of that gap lessen. The second-place streaming platform YouTube has seen a 40% jump in overall reach since the guideline change. Facebook gaming is also experiencing an increase in users.
It seems this decision has many Twitch users divided. While many have decided to leave the platform because of the rule change, others called Twitch to step up and take responsibility for the damage the gambling streams had caused. The Twitch streamer Sliker revealed how he untruthfully convinced fans into raising $200,000 to pay for his gambling. While he commended Twitch for this decision, he stated he thinks the company has more work to be done with its policies.
“…what we were fighting for was a ban on luck-based gambling because it is objectively harmful to the website and its users. This is not it. Luck-based gambling will still be alive and well on the website on October 18th … We must hold Twitch accountable as a platform to do the right thing since they only seem to respond to extraordinary pressure.”
It’s humorous that a streamer who scammed his followers out of $200,000 is condemning Twitch and asking the brand to ban luck-based gambling altogether. (It’s worth noting that Sliker has vowed to pay back all the money taken during the scam, according to a stream released by the content creator)
Gambling Content Twitch Supports
The streaming platform site still offers many options for viewers to enjoy legal gambling content. Twitch included in their Twitter announcement which kind of content they will be supporting: “We will continue to allow websites that focus on sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker.”
With the rise in the popularity of sports betting, this could eventually win some Twitch users back.
Many gambling-related podcasts are still present on Twitch that discuss sports wagering and casino games. Some of the most popular gambling content podcasts on the platform include: Against All Odds with Cousin Sal, Bet The Board, and Gambling With an Edge.
Even though Twitch has experienced the negative impact of the gambling content ban, it seems confident in the decision. It appears that Twitch is taking the necessary precautions to protect itself and its users while still offering a variety of legal gambling content available for streaming.
If you experience gambling problems, call the 24/7 National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700 for free, confidential support.
Mac Daniel is a Michigan native and freelance writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: playonlinemichigan.com