Twitch has finally taken what some users would argue is a long over-due step and has banned gambling streams on the platform – mostly. An attempted ban on gambling referral codes completely failed, with Twitch themselves admitting that creators were very quickly able to find ways around the ban. This prompted Twitch to introduce a ban on any non-US licensed gambling platforms.
While it’s easy to think “well they’re all US-based anyway” the fact is that most of the large platforms sponsoring gambling streams on Twitch aren’t licensed in the US which makes earning money from gambling sponsorships on Twitch much more difficult. One of the most well-known gambling platforms, called Stake, reportedly paid one of the platform’s most popular gambling streamers, Trainwrecks, $360 million over the course of 16 months to promote their platform. Crucially, Stake isn’t licensed in the US and is now banned under Twitch’s new terms.
What Does Trainwreck Think About The Ban?
Trainwreck’s response isn’t surprising – in a video, he spoke about his anger at the ban, before launching a wider attack on the platform by arguing that it doesn’t support smaller creators. Trainwreck pledged to launch his own platform to rival Twitch and would allow gambling streams. He also said that he wouldn’t be reaching out to more well-known creators as they are already looked after by Twitch. Instead, the streamer promised to contact small to medium size creators that he considers are often ignored or overlooked by the platform, giving them an opportunity to grow their following.
The Kick Beta launched in the first week of December, and fans were very quick to point out the similarities to Twitch. One fan replied to Trainwreck’s platform update on Twitter saying “it looks like a complete knockoff of Twitch.
A New Way to Social Media?
There is talk that Kick.com could be the beginning of gambling streams rising massively in popularity, where we could see streamers playing all sorts of casino games, from roulette to slot sites alongside regular streaming content. Perhaps not an issue for everyone but there will certainly be some people that feel this is the wrong decision for a streaming platform to make.
One of the biggest complaints was that despite Trainwreck stating that he would create his own platform, internet sleuths have discovered a connection to crypto gambling sites – Stake, in particular, was named as a co-owner. Trainwreck’s response was simply that anyone who doesn’t like the connection between the new platform and crypto gambling should simply not sign up. In fact, Trainwreck has described himself as a non-exclusive, non-owner streamer on the website.
Will Kick Revolutionise Streaming?
One of Trainwreck’s biggest claims was that Kick would revolutionise streaming, but so far it’s not looking likely. At the time of writing Kick’s slots section had 2746 viewers, while CasinoDaddy EN’s channel alone had almost 2000 viewers on Twitch at the same time.
Even if Kick doesn’t revolutionise the streaming landscape, it appears that Twitch could be its own downfall. The Amazon-owned streaming platform has been the focus of many controversies over the last few years, but gambling streams have become one of the most contentious issues on the platform.
Since implementing a gambling ban for any non-US licensed websites, Twitch has lost 22% of its viewership. The platform which was responsible for 95.9% of streaming views in the last year is now responsible for just 74% of streaming views. This isn’t entirely because of the new gambling ban, but rather part of a larger mass exit from the platform amid a number of issues that streamers and viewers alike are fed up with.
What’s Next for Twitch?
It’s no secret that things are not going well for Twitch at the moment. Several of the platform’s biggest streamers have moved to platforms like YouTube and have taken their audience with them. Others have signed deals with competitor platforms in an effort to bring sign-ups.
It’s unlikely that Twitch will shut down any time soon – the platform is reportedly already discussing ways to replace its lost revenue with alternative sources like advertising revenue. However, if platforms like Kick and YouTube do manage to improve their streaming numbers then it may prompt Twitch to consider updates to the platform in future. Ultimately, it’s too early to tell with Kick still in Beta mode – for now only time will tell.
Also read: Trending Android Games on Play Store
Does Gambling Have a Place on Streaming Websites?
This is always going to be a topic that raises mixed opinions and it is easy to see why. Gambling tends to have strict rules surrounding who can take part and how it can be advertised. For example, in the UK you’re not able to promote gambling in a way that is seen to appeal to those under the age of 18. The age ranges of social media platforms tend to start much lower than this, with no way to ensure that restricted content is only shown to appropriate people. Therefore it could be said that allowing gambling streams and promotions to take part on any social media platform is irresponsible. However, there are those that would like these streams to be able to take place that argues it is down to the online casinos themselves to check ID and verify their customers and not down to social media platforms. In theory, it doesn’t matter who sees the streams, it will only be those that are over the age of consent that will be able to actually join these websites anyway.
The ongoing debate around gambling, advertising and vulnerable gamblers is one that is ongoing and not showing signs of stopping anytime soon. There is unlikely to be much protection for gamblers on social media websites and that is why those who want to protect gamblers are keen for it to continue to be banned on all social media and streaming websites.