Twitch Streamers have amassed millions with a shady boom in gambling


“Morality has entered the game. It is. I felt shitty doing any gambling sponsorship, ”he said later in the stream. “And I know people like, Mizkif, but you sponsor the whole fucking day. If you download Dungeons and dragons, what’s the worst thing that’s going on? You lose $ 40 and a few hours of your life. Gambling is different. “

Online gambling is regulated by a combination of federal and state laws in the United States. Gambling sites need a license to operate in certain countries – it doesn’t matter if they work with hard USD or digital currency. Many crypto casinos, such as Stake and Duelbit, are located abroad in countries such as Curaçao and do not have these licenses. However, they are easy to access from the US via VPN. (More reputable gambling websites ask users for more information to verify their location.) “Doc [these sites] they block the U.S., they don’t block access to people within the U.S., ”says Jeff Ifrah, a lawyer who specializes in online gambling laws. Ifrah says he recently asked a host of questions from U.S. streaming networks Twitch and their representatives. Although legal experts say it could be difficult to prosecute these websites, their U.S.-based promoters could be open to surveillance.

Taking sponsorships and encouraging illegal gambling can create shooters in sticky legal territory, Ifrah says. It warns streamers against advertising these crypto gambling sites while broadcasting from the US. “My advice to them is that the basic activity is basically illegal.” It does happen though. “There’s a lot of money in it,” he says. “Streamers told me,‘ Hey, I don’t just want to give up on this. This is a great opportunity for me because these websites pay a lot of money. ‘”

There may be great opportunities, but they can come with great risks. “Many of the gambling promoted on Twitch is illegal or unregulated and poses certain risks to consumers, vulnerable adults and adolescents or minors,” says Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Problem Gambling Council, an organization that promotes comprehensive policies to support healthy, legal gambling. . Because these websites are often not checked as legal in the U.S., experts wonder if their chances are fair and what their backgrounds look like, Whyte says. “It’s a fairly common tactic in the unregulated gambling industry to inflate profits.”

Talked to gambling experts WIRED say it now, it’s up to Twitch to act. “The health of their users needs to be taken care of,” Whyte says. “They have a huge incentive for police content that is either illegal, unregulated or potentially harmful.”

Twitch’s terms of use prohibit illegal activities on its website and require users to adhere to Federal Trade Commission guidelines regarding advertising. In addition, it does not explicitly prohibit gambling. Crypto gambling flourishes on Twitch, honestly, because it’s allowed. In contrast, livestreaming competitors YouTube and Facebook Gaming prohibits streaming gambling sites that have not been previously viewed. Twitch also has gambling-related categories, such as slot machines, that do not have an age limit that prevents younger viewers from watching (some headlines in the stream say “18+”).

Twitch told WIRED, “We strictly prohibit illegal content and activities on the service and take action in all confirmed cases of illegal gambling reported to us. Our community guidelines clearly show that ‘[Streamers] must comply with all applicable local, national and international laws while using our services. Any content or activity that contains, encourages, offers or encourages illegal activities is prohibited. ” The company adds that its goal is to promote a ‘safe, positive experience for all users of our service’ and to ‘closely monitor the content of gambling. ”

Twitch has had to deal with the gambling controversy on its platform before. Many years ago, top players gambled with cosmetics from first-person shots Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Gambling was a messy frontier that soon became massively popular – and filled with accusations of bad play. The first Twitch streamer to reach a million and later two million followers was Tom “Syndicate” Cassell. Cassell attracted a large audience with gambling and big winnings on, but he also scored settlement with the FTC in late 2017 for failing to disclose his status as vice president of while promoting it.

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