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Twitch to update gambling policy in October

Twitch acknowledged gambling has been ‘a big topic of discussion in the community’

Illustration featuring purple and pink graphic lines and a Twitch logo Illustration: Ariel Davis for Polygon

Twitch will be updating its policies regarding gambling on Oct. 18, according to a statement the company posted to its Twitter account, acknowledging the recent spike in debate and discussion around gambling on the platform.

“We’ll be making a policy update on October 18th to prohibit streaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licensed either in the U.S. or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection,” the statement reads. These sites will include Stake, Rollbit, Duelbits, and Roobet among others that Twitch “may identify” as the policy is rolled out. The statement notes that websites focusing on sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker will still be allowed.

The statement comes after popular content creators including Pokimane, HasanAbi, and Asmongold called on Twitch to ban slots content on the platform; the hashtag #TwitchStopGambling began trending across Twitter earlier this week. While live, Pokimane, Mizkif, and Devin Nash had also discussed boycotting the platform if it did not ban gambling, in the form of a one week content strike during the high-ad season over Christmas.

On Monday, news surfaced that a prominent streamer, Sliker, scammed viewers and fellow streamers for over $200,000, as estimated by his peers, and reported by Kotaku, Waypoint, and The Verge. Sliker, who is known for playing Valorant and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, admitted in a Twitch stream that he had misappropriated viewer donations and instead used them to fund a gambling addiction. In the video, he explained how he began gambling on skins in CS:GO.

Twitch already has some measures in place to address gambling; in 2021, Twitch updated its policies to attempt to prevent streamers from sharing links of referral codes to sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games. However, this hasn’t stopped gambling’s proliferation across the platform.

According to a report from Bloomberg, gambling is flourishing on Twitch as gambling sites sponsor streamers to gamble online. Streamers like xQc stream slots regularly to the tune of as many as 70,000 viewers and have had deals with crypto gambling sites. At the time of publication, the Twitch category Slots is the tenth most popular category on Twitch and has more than 86,000 live viewers.

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