Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch has recently expanded its ban on live streams involving gambling content. The decision comes as an extension of the company’s new gambling policy initiated last year, which now includes the prohibition of streams related to online casinos Blaze and Gamdom, as well as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) skin gambling sites.
Extended Ban on Online Casinos
Twitch’s ban on gambling content started last October with restrictions on four sites. As part of the continued efforts to protect its community, the following updates have been made:
- Prohibition of Online Casinos: Streams of online casinos Blaze and Gamdom are now prohibited, alongside the four sites banned last year.
- Addressing Controversy: The expansion follows a controversy involving a streamer accused of scamming users to fuel a gambling addiction.
- Protection Focus: Twitch’s goal remains to protect the community from predatory behavior, and make the platform safer.
Gambling viewership dropped by roughly 75% after the implementation of the new policy last year, although Twitch noted that some new trends needed to be addressed. Here you can find the updated community guidelines.
CS: GO Skin Gambling Ban
On August 2, Twitch updated its community guidelines to prohibit promotion or sponsorship by CS: GO skin gambling sites. This new rule is significant due to:
- Impact on Streamers: Many CS: GO streamers have lucrative deals with these sites, like G2 Esports with CSGORoll, potentially affecting their income.
- Major Business: CS: GO skin gambling has been a big business, sometimes involving skins selling for thousands of dollars.
- Enforcement Questions: There are questions regarding the immediate effect of the ban and if it also prohibits streamers from using skin gambling and trading sites.
Alternative Platforms and Exceptions
While Twitch tightens its policies, rival streaming platform Kick has stepped up to give streamers the option to gamble without repercussions. Twitch, however, does allow websites that focus on sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker.
Public Reaction and Community Support
Twitch’s announcement has received varied reactions from the community. While many praise the platform for taking measures to protect users, others voice concerns over the limitations imposed on content creation.
- Support for Regulation: Big names in the industry, such as Pokimane, have previously demanded bans on gambling streams, reflecting a significant portion of the community’s stance.
- Questions over Clarity: Some ambiguity in the new guidelines, such as whether it prohibits streaming oneself using CS: GO skin gambling sites, has led to calls for clarification from Twitch.
- Rise of Alternative Content: The decrease in gambling viewership by 75% has not only shown the policy’s immediate impact but also highlights a potential shift towards different content genres, emphasizing the platform’s evolving landscape.
Twitch’s consistent efforts to enhance user protection and safety reflect the platform’s commitment to responsible streaming and community welfare. The ban extension to include specific online casinos and CS: GO skin gambling sites marks a significant step in curbing predatory and questionable gambling practices on the platform. While there are still questions about the enforcement and scope of the new rule, Twitch’s actions send a clear message against unethical gambling practices, positioning itself as a responsible leader in the online streaming industry.