How and Why Twitch Streamers are Gambling Live in the US
Twitch, YouTube Live, and other platforms for live stream gaming are seeing an uptick in users that focus specifically on internet gambling and online casinos. However, some fans have questioned the integrity of streamers receiving casino sponsorships and their influence on the entire industry.
Popularity of Live Streaming to Grow With Further Legalization Worldwide
In the UK, being a fully licensed market, live streaming casino gambling has gained a lot of popularity over the last five years, while in the US, things are a bit different. Due to the market not yet being fully legalized, many states do not yet allow online gambling in all its forms. India and many countries throughout Asia are also seeing a massive boom in the industry. Some states have sports betting and online video poker, giving gamers a few options for this online hobby. The laws mean that streamers have to be living in a state or country where it’s legal to gamble online.
With more countries legalizing online casino games and sports betting, gambling fans are now tuning in for more live reviews and walkthroughs of games and casino sites, as well as to watch their favorite streamers win or lose money every night.
Casino game providers have created thousands of table and card games, every theme of slots you can think of, and even a live-streamed way to “sit” at poker and blackjack tables. The quality increase in games has been one of the drawing factors for many individuals to enjoy online gambling, as it is considered a part of gaming and entertainment. More fans want to see streamers tackle casino games, esports, and sports betting. However, with that acclaim comes a few gray areas and moral questions that are also beginning to pop up.
Streamers and Casino Sponsorships
Users like Roshtein, Agusbob, Félix “xQc” Lengyel, Tyler “Trainwrecks” Niknam, and hundreds more are getting hundreds of thousands of views on their streams. They also have many followers, and casino brands have clued into advertising through influencers as much as any other industry. With popularity increasing, all of the mentioned streamers and their peers are taking paid sponsorships from various casino companies.
Users have brought up the trust factor in that some Twitch streamers may be getting anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars to promote particular brands that may be questionable. Streamers also host code promotions, contests, and other forms of interactive advertising that encourage more users to sign up.
One review found that around 10 percent of streamers were receiving some cash bonus for plugging their sites. One site, Duelbits, offered popular streamer Adin Ross around $1.5 million to advertise their site. Another gamer and streamer, Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo stated on his Twitch channel that sponsors were flushing his gambling accounts with thousands at a time so that he can continuously gamble on his channel.
Users Concerned About the Ethics of Streaming
These developments in streaming and gambling have been a cause for discussion about whether Twitch and other platforms should work to curb these videos as a part of reducing gambling addictions, as well as significant losses that can be detrimental to a player’s well-being. However, streamers are usually not held back by many rules on these sites, which fans prefer.
Wired and other news outlets have also written extensively on the rise of cryptocurrency alongside gambling. Now that crypto is widely available, more users than ever may be encouraged to test the laws where they live and play illegally. While casino sites block users from certain countries, experienced gamers know how to fix their VPN or proxy to access these sites anyway. This is causing another problem for governments that have yet to finalize laws on gambling, as they’re not sure what to do about the influx of gamblers, leaving them unable to tax winnings or benefit from the gambling boom at all.
More conservative governments have already raised concerns about the ethics of gambling and the detrimental effects of addiction. Though countries where gambling is legal have required casino companies to oversee users who have large losses and offer help to the gambling community at large (although the efficacy of this help may be minimal). Twitch streamers are also questioning themselves, with some users quitting or talking on their channels about their experiences with promoting gambling.
Other channels have a more scientific approach or game-heavy approach that promotes the mathematics of gambling or the quality of the games being played over the actual act of gambling. They’ve been able to show that there is a way for online casino streamers to move forward. However, it doesn’t look like casino brands will stop these types of promotions any time soon.