Twitch outlines enforcement policy as “unsafe” gambling ban begins
Twitch has revealed more details regarding its ban on the streaming of high-profile online gambling websites such as Stake.com.
The ban, which officially came into force on 18 October, prohibits the streaming of slots, roulette and dice games on sites that are either not licensed in the US, or in other jurisdictions where appropriate consumer protection standards apply.Outlining its stance for the first time, Twitch said sites that don’t offer deposit limits, time-out periods or age verification systems would be outlawed.
Initially, the ban will apply to Stake.com, Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com and Roobet.com. These sites have now been blacklisted in the Twitch community guidelines, with more domains likely to be added in the future, as and when breaches are identified.
Linking to the blacklisted sites in the chat box has also been banned.
“At Twitch, we continuously evolve our community guidelines to balance creative expression with community safety as the internet and our community itself evolves,” said the company in a statement.
“Last year, in order to address scams and other harms stemming from questionable gambling sites, we prohibited sharing links or referral codes to sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games.
“After monitoring the update’s impact for the last year—as well as hearing directly from you—it became clear that some people were circumventing those rules, and that further steps were necessary.”
Twitch: “We know this may be an adjustment for some, and will be levering warnings in addition to suspensions in applicable cases in order to be fairer to streamers who may not have understood the change yet.”
Twitch originally announced the further steps and the adjacent ban in September. It caused quite the controversy at the time, as slots streaming is incredibly popular on Twitch. It was also a crucial source of revenue for several of the platform’s most influential personalities.In the latest policy update, Twitch has warned content creators to observe the ban or face enforcement action via a traffic light-style leniency system.
“As with all of our policies, your account may receive an enforcement if you stream these prohibited sites,” said the firm.
“That said, we know this may be an adjustment for some, and will be levering warnings in addition to suspensions in applicable cases in order to be fairer to streamers who may not have understood the change yet.”
Following news of the ban, many were speculating over the future of high-octane casino streams where content creators wager huge sums, often in crypto.
Drake for example is a Stake.com brand ambassador. Last weekend – before the ban came into force – the rapper won $12,240,000 on a single roulette spin, just hours after losing $833,000 on a sports bet following Barcelona’s defeat to Real Madrid.
Sports betting, fantasy sports and poker streams are still permitted on the platform, but the future of non-US licensed casino sites remains unclear.
A quick scan of the Slots homepage on Twitch now features videos promoting MGA-licensed online casino sites and games, instead of Curacao-licensed sites such as those blacklisted.
Germany’s new gambling regulator (GGL) welcomed the policy change from Twitch, but said this was only the “very first step” in the right direction.
Twitch is owned by Amazon. It was bought in 2014 for $970m.
Some industry observers believe Amazon is the driving force behind the toughening stance on “unsafe” iGaming as it wants to become the primary infrastructure and cloud solutions supplier to the US online gambling industry via its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division.