A new controversy has been generated around Twitch and the streaming community. The streaming platform promised to crack down on gambling streams, but a recent scam has several prominent streamers calling it out once again.
Twitch video game content creator Pokimane in her home studio. She and others are trying to pressure Twitch into changing its stance on gambling following a scam a fellow streamer perpetrated. (Image: Twitch.tv/Pokimane via Dot Esports)
British content creator Nick Sliker is in the spotlight after reportedly launching a financial scam on Twitch. He asked his followers and other streamers for money in order to cover a “bad economic situation.”
However, the streaming community later discovered that he used the money he collected to cover his gambling habit. As a result, streamers like Pokimane and others are demanding changes.
Streaming For Dollars
The scams came to light when video game streamer Mikelpee shared a video a few months ago. In it, Sliker, who has 432,000 followers on Twitch, asked a follower for money, asserting that his bank account was blocked. He added that a loan had come due and that he needed the money to avoid trouble.
It was a common method he used several more times. Through the ruse, Sliker was able to collect money from his followers and fellow streamers. They all offered to give him “loans” as they sought to help him overcome his financial hardships.
I used to gamble a lot of my money. Basically, all my Twitch money. I would come across streamers and ask them if I could borrow money. I wouldn’t give them the reason obviously. Because it was gambling I would lie to them,” said Twitch streamer Sliker.
One fellow streamer, Trainwreck, reportedly gave him $45,000. Some admitted to providing up to $7,000. By the time the final tally was in, he had allegedly fleeced the Twitch community out of $300,000.
However, the financial hardships never existed. In reality, Sliker used them as an excuse to get donations. He allegedly spent it all wagering on sports and purchasing video game loot boxes. He later copped to having lost all of the money.
It was an admission he gave only after the scam took wings and went viral on Twitch and social media platforms. He faced accusations by other streamers, including Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo and Félix “xQc” Lengyel, and immediately came clean.
Sliker recorded a stream where he indicated that he suffered from gambling addiction. In it, he also promised that he would “try to” enter rehab, but some Twitch users aren’t betting on it.
Streamers to the Rescue
Successful Twitch streamers can make millions. They receive income directly from their streams, as well as through sponsorship deals. Pokimane, for example, has a net worth of around $2-3 million, according to The Loadout. xQc earned $8.4 million from August 2019 to October 2021.
A couple of content creators are going to cover Sliker’s debt. xQc and Ludwig Ahgren have agreed to repay all of the money, “even a single dollar.” Both had also fallen for Sliker’s plea for help.
As long as the follower can prove he or she contributed, the streamers will issue the payout.
Pokimane, Mizkif, and Devin Nash talking about early plans to make a joint statement with other top streamers that unless @Twitch takes action on gambling, they will hit them economically during the holiday season (peak ads).#TwitchNews #TwitchStopGambling pic.twitter.com/pyQPINTOu3
— Zach Bussey (@zachbussey) September 19, 2022
As the controversy gathered steam, Pokimane, with 9.2 million followers, is part of a growing campaign against Twitch to ban gambling content. They have begun using the hashtag #TwitchStopGambling, arguing that this scandal shows the need for better controls.
If Twitch doesn’t respond to the demand for change, the streamers are ready to take action. They’ll pause their content creation during the holiday season and impact Twitch’s ad revenue.
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