It’s been a rough 24 hours for people streaming purple. After a scandal broke a Twitch streamer had scammed viewers and peers out of an alleged $200,000 to fund a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive addiction, high-profile figures began pressuring the live-streaming company to fix the larger underlying problem. Gambling, many have been arguing for a while now, has become a scourge on the platform as a number of wealthy creators have promoted potentially dangerous content to impressionable young fans. While Twitch seemed to let it go for a long time, the Amazon-owned platform today announced a massive change to game streams it will have big ramifications for creators and viewers.
According to a new update posted on social media, Twitch will no longer allow “streaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games that are not permitted in the United States. United States or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection”. The list currently includes Stake.com, Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com, and Roobet.com, though Twitch says it may expand as the company continues to assess the situation. Twitch will, however, continue to allow sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker. These appear to be the high-level changes that will go into effect starting October 18, and Twitch is ready to share more details soon.
While we don’t have all the information about gambling on the platform just yet, it’s likely that Twitch will share these key details early due to all the commotion that erupted in late September. Earlier this week, streamers like Pokimane suggested they would team up with some of the platform’s other popular personalities and go on strike during a high-volume time, like Christmas, unless Twitch released a statement on the crisis or decrees new rules of the game.
While the new rules don’t outright ban gambling, they do target some of the biggest websites that are either favored by streamers or sponsor well-known streamers. And the ramifications will be huge: Not only is gaming one of the most popular content categories, with the platform’s biggest faces such as xQc, but some creators like Tyler Faraz “Trainwreck” Niknam have said that they were earning up to a million a month from the gaming companies they featured live.
This doesn’t count how much viewers might earn playing while sharing referral codes broadcast by streamers (which they can no longer do), or any other sponsorships a Twitch streamer might receive through more conventional means on the platform. While these streamers have pointed out in the past that they’ve told viewers not to play themselves, it was obvious that business was booming.
In its announcement, Twitch reminded people that it already has game rules in place, but “some people are circumventing these rules and exposing our community to potential harm.”
While the new rules are not yet online, pThe people who pushed for this change are celebrating. After all, there was a lot of skepticism about whether or not Twitch would do something more about the game, with some very visible creators like Hasan Abi expressing that the activity was simply generating too much revenue for the platform to ban it outright.
“We all did it”, Pokimane, who recovered 300,000 people expressing their support against gaming streams in a single day, tweeted. “Public pressure, tweets, awareness, it all counts.”
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