The Dark Truth Behind Gambling Streamers

Published by Emma Crossick verified symbol on November 29, 2022

If you follow social media news, you might have heard that Twitch, the Amazon-owned social media platform, has banned its users from streaming gambling content that’s unlicensed from 18th October 2022. 

While that’s encouraging to hear, the social media platform hasn’t yet put a stop to sponsored gambling streams. One of the main reasons behind the ban is down to ItsSliker, a British streamer who scammed hosts out of thousands of dollars to pay for his own compulsive gambling addiction. This led to outrage amongst Twitch users, especially gamblers, who quite rightly became concerned that they might be defrauded out of money. 

Link Sharing and Referral Codes Promoting Certain Gambling Activities Banned

The result is that Twitch won’t allow link sharing or referral codes for websites that promote or showcase casino games – for example, slot machines, Roulette or gambling games that involve dice rolling. Interestingly, the ban doesn’t extend to sports betting or Poker.

No doubt, this ban will slow the display of illegal gambling content on Twitch, and the move has been welcomed by users who’ve expressed their concerns over streamers promoting gambling for a long while.

The Dark Side of Gambling Streaming

The dark side of gambling streaming on Twitch is well highlighted by one particular story dating back to July 2021 (this is not an isolated case), when a Twitch streamer boasted to Wired magazine that they were earning over £26k an hour just by sharing video footage of them playing casino-style games online. 

That’s not the only story – another streamer called Richard Bengston (member of FaZe eSports) owns a website that allows users to gamble using skins (items with a cash value). The website was earning over £150,000 daily in revenue illegally!

Using VPNs to Stream Illegal Gambling Content

Another Twitch streamer, Tyler “Trainwreck” Niknam, was streaming live footage of himself playing slot machines on Stake.com (an online casino). His audience was reaching 25,000 viewers during each session and was winning huge sums of money – up to $400,000. That type of streaming was never legal because even though Stake.com is a US-based site, there was no US gaming licence for US players. However, to get around the problem, Niknam (and others) used VPNs. In essence, Niknam was promoting illegal gambling.

The biggest concern surrounding these Twitch streamers was that the content they were streaming was illegal. Apart from being unlicensed, these big-audience streamers were enticing underage gamblers, as well as encouraging compulsive gambling and even committing fraud. ItsSliker openly admits that he borrowed money from other hosts to pay for his gambling addiction. Much of that money has never been paid back and left many disgruntled Twitch users out-of-pocket.

Unlicensed Online Casinos Are Difficult to Regulate

The major issue with online gambling websites is that they are hard to regulate. For example, there are plenty of licensed online casinos in the UK, with stronger rules and regulations set by the UKGC but there are also many unlicensed providers. Unfortunately, the number of users choosing unlicensed gambling websites in the UK has more than doubled and shifted upwards from 220,000 to 460,000 in just two years. If you gamble online, it is vitally important that you protect yourself as much as possible and check the licensing status of your preferred casino or other platforms.

Final Words

If you are struggling with a gambling problem or addiction, help is available. Contact your local NHS provider to find out about the NHS Gambling Clinics or telephone GamCare on 0808 020 123, there’s plenty of support on the website with a chat room, forums and downloadable literature to help you conquer your gambling problem.

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Emma Crossick
Contributor Emma Crossick verified symbol
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This article was written by our contributor, Emma. She is a successful writer and contributor to our site. She has written numerous articles on gambling, focusing on the UK and several European countries. His passions are reflected in how she writes, with useful and informative articles aimed at helping the reader.
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