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Online gambling and Twitch streaming have unfortunately become intertwined over the past few years. CasinoGrounds, a site run by gambling streamers, even released its own list of popular streamers by state, showing just how close the two worlds are these days. This has led to a movement to ban gaming streams from Twitch – and to cases of perceived bribery.
Streamer HasanAbi’s editor ostonox shared a clip of one such interaction on Twitter. During one of streamer Tranwreckstv’s broadcasts, he can be seen openly handing over an amount of Bitcoin to two Twitch employees: Pepegafish and Rellim. Trainwreckstv even states that the cryptocurrency they got amounts to $50K and $80K respectively. Given the heat on Twitch to ban gambling streams altogether, this action is seen as a bribe by many.
Ostonox includes the #TwitchStopGambling hashtag in the tweet, and following this topic, plenty of other instances of questionable ads and streaming choices will arise. This has prompted the likes of Pokimane, Mizkif and other major streamers to band together and demand that Twitch take action against gambling streams. Streaming journalist Zach Bussey shared an example on Twitter also, where Mizkif declares his willingness to boycott Twitch until a change is made.
It is important to note that many gambling streamers have actually left the US to pursue these types of broadcasts. A major outlet, Stake, is unavailable in the US due to the terms of its gaming license. Direct links to gambling sites are not allowed in Twitch chat, but that doesn’t stop people from finding ways to access them independently. When a site like Twitch has so many young and impressionable viewers, it’s easy to see why allowing such gambling streams to take place could cause real problems. Hot tub streams are one thing, but influencing young people to risk their money (or other people’s money) is a whole other problem that Twitch needs to solve.