Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch is closely monitoring gambling content, which has grown significantly in viewership in 2021, thanks to some big names taking part, and big-money sponsorships.
Most notably, Tyler ‘Trainwrecks’ Niknam has been at the forefront of the gambling trend, and claiming that he has lost upwards of $2 million in the process.
Other big names on Twitch, including the most-watched streamer, xQc, and rising star Adin Ross, have also done sponsored gambling streams.
However, the trend has come under increasing scrutiny, both for its legality and morality. According to a new report, Twitch is keeping a close eye on the trend.
In a statement to WIRED, Twitch said, “We strictly prohibit illegal content and activity on the service, and take action in all verified incidents of illegal gambling that are reported to us. Our Community Guidelines make clear that ‘[Streamers] must respect all applicable local, national, and international laws while using our services.”
They also said that they were “closely monitoring gambling content,” and their goal is to create “a safe, positive experience for all users of our service.”
Are Twitch gambling streams legal?
WIRED’s report also states that “A lot of the gambling promoted on Twitch is illegal or unregulated and poses definite risks for consumers, vulnerable adults, and adolescents or underage children,” according to Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Twitch’s terms of service do make specific mention of gambling streams, while rival platforms YouTube and Facebook Gaming prohibit streams showing gambling sites that have not been reviewed.
Slots was the 14th most-watched category on Twitch in June, with names like Trainwrecks, xQc, Xposed and Yassou making up the top 10 streamers for hours watched. It’s also of note that Slots is one of the only popular categories on Twitch not to feature a custom-made image for display.
Some streamers have now stopped any gambling content, now dubbed ‘gamba streams’ by the community, as they were concerned about encouraging viewers to get involved, especially younger viewers.
xQc quit gambling streams after revealing the alarming number of fans who had used his sign-up code.
Dexerto has reached out to Twitch for comment.