Twitch gambling controversy prompts policy change on the platform

Twitch gambling recently showed up in the spotlight after several high-profile streamers, including multiplayer game streamer Pokimane, realized they fell victim to a gambling scam. Now, as popular personalities on the platform threaten to boycott during some of Twitch’s busiest times, the company is speaking out with an update on its policies.

“We’ll be making a policy update on October 18 to prohibit streaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulettes, or dice games that aren’t licensed in the U.S. or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection,” Twitch said in the statement on Twitter. “We will continue to allow websites that focus on sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker.”

Twitch also said they would share more information about the update closer to October 18.

Fellow streamer Sliker admitted to accepting money from fans and fellow streamers under false pretenses. Sliker told fans he needed money to pay his bills after his bank locked his account. In reality, the streamer used the $200,000 he obtained to fuel his Counterstrike: Global Offensive gambling habits.

Players use high-value skins as chips and place bets on the outcome of CS:GO matches, and Sliker said he moved on to using real money as well.

The coterie of streamers threatening to boycott cited Twitch’s lax stance on gambling streams, though it’s worth noting that Sliker’s behavior was private and had nothing to do with gambling streams anyways.

Reactions were about as varied as you might expect. Some cried out that gambling was less problematic than hot tub streams. Others noted the speed with which Twitch reacted to gambling problems while complaints over racist and hate-filled streams take significantly longer to address, if they get addressed at all.

The common reaction, though, was that Twitch’s move, while small and hardly comprehensive, is at least a step in the right direction.


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