Twitch has announced a significant change to its policy amidst rising concerns about the presence of gambling streams on the platform. On Twitter, Twitch said it will prohibit the streaming of gambling websites that feature slots, roulette and dice games unlicensed in the US and other regions that “provide sufficient consumer protection.” The policy change will take effect on October 18th, and Twitch promises to release the full policy language and more details before that date.
So far, the list of banned sites include some of the most well-known ones out there, including Stake.com, Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com and Roobet.com. Not a surprise, since you could already find plenty of streams on Twitch with gambling content from those domains. Twitch says that it “may identify others” going forward, so the list of banned websites will likely grow longer. The website will continue allowing websites that focus on certain types of gambling content, though, including sports betting, fantasy sports and poker.
Twitch issued the statement after some of the platform’s most popular streamers, including Pokimane and DevinNash, threatened to boycott it on Christmas week if it doesn’t ban gambling streams and sponsorships. They banded together in response to one streamer’s admission that he had scammed followers and fellow streamers out of around $200,000 to feed his addiction to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. As Kotaku explains, CS:GO features weapon skins that have real-world monetary value, and gambling websites use them as casino chips. The revelation reopened the discussion of gambling streams on Twitch in a big way, with people pointing out that they could lead to deceitful behavior by streamers and could be damaging to the website’s young users.