The word Twitch on a purple background.

The Twitch Gambling Controversy, Explained

It was an issue floating in the air for years, but Twitch has finally made a big decision regarding gambling.

On September 20th, Twitch announced that they would be updating their policy on gambling to prohibit streaming sites that include slots, roulette and dice games that are “not licensed in the U.S. or provide sufficient consumer protection.” The issue of gambling on the platform has been nothing new, though. Several streamers have gotten into hot water on Twitch over the years regarding gambling, be it for the irresponsible nature in which they stream or taking their own cut of the money, effectively scamming their viewers out of thousands of dollars. In fact, this issue has spanned almost the entirety of Twitch’s lifespan.

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In the early 2010s, the first issues with gambling on Twitch began to arise, centered around the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Streamers and players would bet, win and lose thousands of dollars on valuable CS:GO items. In 2016, Phantoml0rd, an infamous figure in the CS:GO betting community, was banned following an update to Twitch’s terms of service regarding the controversial betting ring. Phantoml0rd was suspected of having business relationships with gambling websites that were not explicitly stated or even brought to the attention of the streaming service. He later sued Twitch, walking away with only $20,000 in compensation. More recently, on September 17th, streamer ItsSliker confessed that he scammed more than $300,000 from Twitch streamers to use for his gambling addiction, sparking another outcry for the platform to take definitive action against the issue.

The statement Twitch made on the 20th is their first big move against the issue of gambling on the platform. Only time will tell whether or not this move is truly effective, but one thing is clear: gambling remains a serious problem in life—in fact, gambling addictions can bring many to ruin if left unchecked. Twitch making a big move against gambling on the platform was all but necessary—and hopefully, responsible streamers will ensure they don’t repeat the same mistakes in the future.

(featured image: Twitch)

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