We all know Twitch.tv is one of (if not the) most popular streaming services in the world at the moment. The numbers don’t lie – Twitch is a proper powerhouse in every sense of that word with average concurrent viewership constantly swinging way above the 1,000,000 mark. At the time of writing this article, there were roughly 1,269,639 people watching something on this livestreaming giant… And that number keep growing constantly.
Due to all this, it becomes clear Twitch has a huge influence on our digital society. It has become a safe haven for gamers all around the world, streaming everything from their first steps in the gaming industry all the way to the biggest esports tournaments watched by millions of fans from all over the globe. Such significance, obviously, brings a great deal of protective measures for both its content creators and content digestors.
Twitch is primarily a platform for streaming online games, but with the rapid growth of esports and esports betting, in-game skin betting and supporting industries; the lines between gaming, esports and betting have been blurred beyond recognition. Gaming still covers more than 97% of livestreams on Twitch with those remaining 3% going to casino streamers. If we are to be more precise here, close to 80,000 people are watching casino streams at the moment, which takes up roughly 2.3% of the total Twitch viewership. That’s not a problem in itself, but it becomes one when people disregard basic regulations.
Most of the time, these sorts of problems bear no huge significance… However, a recent investigation done by Eurogamer confirmed not all streamers play by the rules. Well, not only streamers but their casinos of choice as well. You see, Eurogamer found out two unlicensed online casino websites were constantly being promoted and streamed on Twitch. Why is that a problem? Well, here’s the deal…
It doesn’t take a genius to understand all online betting websites (this includes casino websites) have to follow a strict set of rules. Those rules start with one simple thing – betting licenses, in this case, issued by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC from now on). Since these casino websites are obviously breaking the most basic online betting regulations, it’s no wonder UKGC had to step in and get in touch with Twitch in order to stop these illegal casino websites from getting more exposure through the most popular streaming service on the planet.
Here’s what a spokesperson from UKGC had to say about the matter at hand:
“We do not talk about individual cases but I can explain our approach to unlicensed sites. When illegal gambling websites are brought to our attention, we take a number of proportionate steps to protect consumers in Britain. This will initially involve assessment of whether the site is actually used by consumers in Britain, and then may include engagement with the site owners, and ultimately working closely with advertising and payment providers to cut off sources of customers and access to funds. We are currently working with Twitch to prevent unlicensed sites being advertised on their platform.”
At the time of writing this article, those casinos were still actively promoted and streamed on Twitch. Eurogamer also tried to get Twitch to comment on the matter at hand but got no response thus far. Knowing Twitch, they will most likely resolve this problem internally; banning advertisements to said websites and perhaps penalizing the streamers which were creating the advertisements. For all of you worrying about Twitch’s future amongst these issues, rest assured Twitch still is and will remain the biggest streaming service for gamers!
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