UPDATE 19/10/22: Twitch's new guidelines on unlicensed gambling streams are now in effect.
The streaming platform previously stated it would prohibit streaming of unlicensed gambling sites from 18th October, as per our previous story below.
Now, a new post has been added to the Community Guidelines - few new details are given (beyond specifying prohibited sites), but it reiterates the new policy.
"As with all of our policies, your account may receive an enforcement if you stream these prohibited sites. 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," it reads.
ORIGINAL STORY 21/9/22: Twitch has updated its regulations on gambling on the streaming platform, following an outcry from streamers.
The new policy prohibits streaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games that aren't licensed in the US or "other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection" from 18th October.
This follows strike threats from some of the biggest Twitch streamers after former Team Liquid member ItsSliker admitted to have scammed viewers and fellow streamers out of $200k to fund his gambling addiction.
"It's time for the truth," said ItsSliker on a Just Chatting stream. "If you haven't heard, I borrowed money off people...To the people that are watching, I know I will never be able to ask for forgiveness. I'm ill.
"I never intended on scamming anyone and I will still pay off the people I owe... what I did was horrible, lying to multiple people out there."
Gambling on Twitch has been a huge issue for some time. Earlier this year, streamer xQc revealed he lost $1.85m in one month to online casinos - something he does frequently on stream - stating "it's fun and I can afford doing it".
After the ItsSliker story broke, xQc, along with streamers Ludwig and Mizkif, promised to repay fans who loaned money.
WE ARE AWARE ABOUT THIS @Sliker SITUTATION AND THE VICTIMS WHO WE'RE SCAMMED OUT OF THEIR HARD-EARNED MONEY. HEARTBREAKING. ME AND @LudwigAhgren WILL BE TRYING OUR BEST TO GET MONEY BACK TO THOSE PEOPLE. THIS IS ABOUT THE VICTIMS. ONLY THEM. THIS WILL TAKE TIME, ITS ~$300,000.🤝— xQc (@xQc) September 18, 2022
And other streamers called on Twitch to ban gambling. Pokimane, Mizkif, Destiny, and Devin Nash discussed plans on stream to hold a strike during the holiday season to hit the platform financially.
Pokimane, Mizkif, and Devin Nash talking about early plans to make a joint statement with other top streamers that unless @Twitch takes action on gambling, they will hit them economically during the holiday season (peak ads).#TwitchNews #TwitchStopGambling pic.twitter.com/pyQPINTOu3— Zach Bussey ➡️ Twitchcon Vegas (@zachbussey) September 19, 2022
Clearly this pressure worked, with Twitch following up with its latest update.
While this is certainly a welcome move, it proves the power that these larger streamers have - power that hasn't been used on previous occasions.
Many streamers joined the A Day Off Twitch campaign last summer after minority streamers were bombarded with hate raids, but some of the biggest names on the platform refused to join as they felt it wouldn't make a difference. Asmongold, for instance, has called for ItsSliker and gambling to be banned, yet he refused to join the hate raid strike because "Nobody gives a fuck if you take the day off. Nobody knows who you are".
Hypocrisy continues elsewhere, as Mizkif has been accused of covering up sexual assault committed by fellow streamer CrazySlick, as TheVerge reports.
A full update to the Twitch gambling policy is expected soon, ahead of 18th October. Websites focusing on sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker will still be allowed.
What's more, this isn't an outright ban on gambling but only those that aren't licensed, meaning gambling will still remain possible on the platform, as DevinNash points out.
This is NOT a gambling ban. Headline readers are getting this wrong. Twitch doesn't say they are banning luck-based gambling - ONLY certain websites that "aren't licensed in the U.S." - Unfortunately, this leaves plenty of room for gambling to remain on the website come Oct. 18th pic.twitter.com/99s2A7Hzd0— Devin (@DevinNash) September 20, 2022