What has been brewing for a long time, has finally happened. Twitch has pulled a plug on gambling streams that include slots, roulette, or dice games while poker, sports betting, and fantasy sports are continued to be allowed.
Twitch will make a policy update on October 18th, and it will prohibit streaming from sites like Stakes.com, Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com, Roobet.com, and others which are either not licensed in the U.S or do not provide sufficient consumer protection. Press release was announced on Twitter.
An update on gambling on Twitch. pic.twitter.com/lckNTY9Edo— Twitch (@Twitch) September 20, 2022
The announcement came in the middle of one of the biggest Twitch dramas as it was revealed that popular streamer ItsSliker stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from fans and fellow streamers under the pretence of paying it back soon, claiming that his bank account was frozen and needing money to pay the bills. Instead, he fuelled his gambling addiction with no clear intentions of ever paying it back.
This once again sparked a debate on Twitch allowing influencers streaming gambling content to their young audience, more specifically slots streams and being paid up to a million dollars every month for doing so. One could make a similar argument for poker, but even with our biased opinion here at PokerPro.cc, this is a totally different ball game.
While of course poker has sponsored players as well, poker sites can’t just blindly cover all their buy-ins and losses as these would be spread among all players at the table, because poker is played against other players and not against the house. On the other hand, gambling hundreds of thousands of dollars on slots in one stream means nothing, as this number is literally just a number. You “lose” money to the house, and they just give it back to you the next day. Rinse and repeat. And we didn’t even cover that slots are pure gambling with zero skills involved, while poker, sports betting and fantasy sports are all skill-based games.
Trainwreckstv is one of the biggest slot streamers
Slots category on Twitch is huge and it’s the 10th biggest category in terms of hours watched in the last 30 days according to streamscharts.com, just below Fortnite and ahead of World of Warcraft, two of the biggest gaming giants.
41 million hours of slots content has been consumed by Twitch viewers in this period, while poker sits on 41st place with 6 million hours watched during what is probably the busiest time of the category with WCOOP on PokerStars, amazing free streams from Triton, WSOP Online and such.
Ironically enough, the ban came just in the middle of a big argument between popular streamers xQc, HasanAbi, Ludwig and Train, discussing gambling live in front thousands of viewers. Train, being by far the biggest slots streamer, left the chat immediately after the announcement.
Ban will get into effect in one month, so streamers have more than enough time to prepare for gambling exit on Twitch. We expect there will be several “marathon” streams during this time as a last hurrah, with viewership reaching half a million. What will happened after that is remained to be seen. For sure poker category will benefit from this, but only time will tell if it’s for any good or not.