In a recent Creator Update, the live-streaming network Twitch announced that it will be banning all gambling-related links. The reason behind the move was to “prevent harm and scams created by questionable gambling services that sponsor content on Twitch,” according to a statement released by the service.
Previously, gambling streams were a popular occurrence on Twitch, with big streamers such as Roshstein bringing in tens of thousands of viewers per stream. These streamers would also post affiliate links, offering special bonuses and promotions to players who signed up using their link, with Twitch being mostly quiet on the subject.
How Did the NPCG React to the Ban?
Although slot streaming was a popular acquisition method for many operators, many raised concerns over how igaming was being encouraged on a platform that is mainly attracting young people.
The National Council on Problem Gambling has released a fresh statement in response to Twitch’s decision to remove gambling site links from the platform. The NCPG calls it a “positive first step” but says more needs to be done, citing their concerns about Twitch’s usage of live streaming gambling games that can lead to underage gambling and addiction. The NPCG isn’t the only organization that has raised concerns over this issue either. Many other gambling harm reduction organizations have spoken out against the way the platform promotes gambling to young people.
In a full statement, Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said:
“Twitch has taken a good first step to help protect young and vulnerable users by preventing the sharing of links to gambling websites. However, much more must be done.
“It is incumbent on Twitch to focus on the health of their users, especially young people who are susceptible to developing a gambling addiction thanks to what they are exposed to in the streaming platform.”
The discussion over whether or not the network should allow this content is still going on, with streamers advocating for and against gambling on Twitch, with some even recommending that it be outright banned.
This hasn’t been the case so far, as there are separate categories for Slots, Poker, and Online Casino, and the general policy allows gambling as long as it’s allowed in the area where the streamer is producing material. In response to the controversy, Twitch said it would continue to “monitor gambling-related content” and change its strategy “as needed” after announcing the restriction on gambling-related links and referral codes.
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