Yesterday (September 20), Twitch released a rather unexpected announcement confirming and detailing how the streaming platform is going to continue to tackle potentially harmful gambling content and streamers circumventing existing policies. While there’s no officially recognised connection between the two, this statement comes days after popular Twitch streamer Abraham ‘Sliker’ Mohammed was accused of scamming his peers and fans to fund a gambling addiction. Popular content creators, including Twitch’s most popular female streamer Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys and Twitch’s most popular male streamer Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, have shown support for the decision online.
Following the news, popular content creators like Hasan ‘HasanAbi’ Piker and Youna ‘CodeMiko’ Kang joined Ninja and Pokimane in their calls – and then subsequent support – for Twitch to update and improve its’ gambling policy.
Taking this one step further, Ludwig ‘Ludwig’ Ahgren and Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel announced that they would be working to reimburse anyone affected by Sliker’s scam, revealing that the estimated loss totals to around $300,000.
Gambling on Twitch has been a topic of conversation among popular content creators and fans of the streaming platform for quite some time and, following the increased pressure from the aforementioned individuals and thousands of others, Twitch issued the following statement:
“We’ll be making a policy update on October 18 to prohibit streaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licensed either in the US or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection… We will continue to allow websites that focus on sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker… We will share specifics on the updates to our Gambling policy soon, including the full policy language, to make sure everyone is clear on our new rules before they take effect.”
While this is seen as a positive by many, not everyone is on the same page, and quite a few content creators and fans are questioning the almost immediate response from Twitch in light of earlier controversies – namely, the short-term banning of streamer ‘Kimmikka’, who was caught engaging in sexual relations while streaming.
Several smaller content creators, like Anthony ‘BigJigglyPanda’ Brown, Mike ‘MikeyPerk’ Perkins, and Sean ‘Gladd’ Gallagher have voiced their dissatisfaction with Twitch’s inconsistent approach to what they feel should be prohibited behaviour on the streaming platform online. In addition to this, divisive but popular gambling streamer Tyler ‘Trainwrecks’ Niknam has voiced his concern at the changes, highlighting that Sliker was reportedly a sports betting addict, something that looks to remain largely untouched by Twitch’s policy changes.
While it’s clear that the majority of content creators and Twitch fans support the streaming platform’s decision to make changes to the gambling policy, it’s certainly not an announcement without its own controversy – with many also commenting on the fact that negative experiences like ‘hate raids’ still go largely unpunished on the site. Although unrelated, we hope this change to Twitch’s gambling policy is the start of wider reform of rules and regulations across the platform to protect both the content creators and those who watch them.