Twitch Rolls Out Gambling Meta Restrictions

Twitch slapped gambling streamers, like TrainwrecksTV and Roshtein, with a new rule on August 12. Anyone broadcasting themselves playing on casino sites, like Stake, Duelbits, and Frank Casino, will no longer be able to share referral codes. The Amazon-owned streaming platform said this change is an effort to protect its viewers from “harm and scams.” Streamers were given until August 17 to remove any referral code-related content from their channel.

Gambling streamers will still be able to play slots and other games on stream, but won’t be able to promote referral codes while broadcasting. Online casinos offer free games or cash bonuses to new players and use streamers to advertise the site to thousands of viewers.

This might affect how much Twitch streamers earn from sponsorship deals with virtual casinos, but the popularity of gambling streams — colloquially known as the “gambling meta” — will likely remain unchanged.

Twitch’s Gambling Meta Isn’t Going Anywhere Yet

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Online gambling companies have penned seven-figure deals with popular streamers to get them to broadcast their site. Aiden Ross accidentally leaked his private Discord conversation with a representative from Duelbits. The chat logs revealed that Duelbits offered Ross $1.4 million a month, which he turned down for a more lucrative deal with competing site, Roobet.

These monolithic sponsorships have brought into question exactly how profitable and ethical it is for gambling companies to use streamers as advertising, and whether or not Twitch should ban the practice. Wired reported in July that Twitch allows gambling streams so long as they follow “local, national, and international laws.”

Those regulations only apply to streamers, and there’s nothing stopping viewers from using VPNs to skirt gambling laws or lying about their age to access virtual casinos. The minimum age to create a Twitch account is 13, which means it’s highly likely minors have seen a gambling stream at one point or another. Streamers like Pokimane, Hasanabi, and Asmongold have voiced their concern and criticism about promoting gambling to children.

Twitch’s ban on referral codes is a sign that the company is monitoring the situation, but has no plans to outright halt gambling streams. The platform has had a category for slots and gambling for years.

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