Live-streaming platform Twitch has gone after influencers by banning the sharing of gambling links and referral codes to online wagering sites. The action responded to concerns about promoting unlicensed gambling operators to the underage portion of the site’s following.
- Twitch bans codes and links to betting sites.
- The ban targets influencers preying on its younger audience.
- The streaming site learned of influencers‘ substantial profits .
Twitch Bans Content Promoting Gambling Links
The move came after Twitch officials learned that some of the site’s prominent users were making millions from gambling sites for streaming slot gaming. A WIRED investigation earlier this year revealed that some of the most popular influencers on Twitch streamed crypto slots or had deals with crypto operators.
While online casinos do not allow people under 18 to use their sites, the nature of crypto sites and their anonymity often ignore the age of users. More than 21% of Twitch users are aged 13 to 17. No gambling sites will be allowed to advertise on Twitch, and the site promises to monitor the situation continually.
Influencers Under Scrutiny
While gambling promotion on Twitch reached a peak this year, it has been the subject of controversy for a while.
In 2016, the US Federal Trade Commission charged two prominent social media influencers, Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell, promoting a skins gambling site for which they had not declared an ownership interest.
The WIRED probe noted that top gambling streamer, Adin Ross, made more than $1.4 million a month to stream gameplay from a crypto casino site.
Twitch Speaks Out
This type of gambling promotion and profit caused Twitch to crack down on this type of behavior. “To prevent harms and scams created by questionable services that sponsor content on Twitch, we will prohibit sharing links and/or referral codes to sites that offer slots, roulette, or dice games,” Twitch said on their site. Other experts agree the move was not enough since Twitch still allows streams from some gambling sites.
Twitch has taken a good first step to help protect young and vulnerable users by preventing the sharing of links to gambling websites. However, much more must be done.
Kieth Whyte of the National Council of Problem Gambling
The Twitch Gambling Mania
Twitch, introduced in 2011, hosts streamers engaging in various activities covering several topics and venues. But gaming and streaming of video game competition is its big driver. People can go to the site and view streams without signing in, and they have the option of subscribing in return for several perks.
The free access, broadcasts of esports events, interactivity, and entertaining influencers have made Twitch one of the most popular streaming sites worldwide. As of 2020, Twitch had 15 million active daily users. It has become a subsidiary of Amazon.
A Call for Responsible Gambling Practices
The power of online influencers and their ability to persuade young people to do adult things is growing. Twitch appears to be caught in this web with the choice of denying adults types of entertainment or risking letting kids be exposed to mature content. Safe and secure gaming is essential to casino sites as well as players.
That’s why the most trustworthy casino sites screen players for age and make it a point to encourage safe and responsible gambling habits. If you want to play online for real money, make sure it’s at a reputable site, like one of our top-ranked casinos.