Twitch Updating Betting Policies, Takes Aim at Foreign Internet Casinos

Streaming platform Twitch said today it will update its policy on betting on Oct. 18, taking aim at companies based outside the US that offer dice games, roulette and slot machines.

Game play on Twitch. The company said today it could ban ties to international online casinos. (Image: Twitch)

The company, which is a unit of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), said its current policy forbids sharing links to and referral codes for sites that offer the aforementioned forms of wagering, but some streamers are finding ways around that ban, exposing the Twitch community “to potential harm” in the process.

We’ll be making a policy update on October 18th to prohibit streaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licensed either in the U.S. or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection,” according to a statement Twitch posted on Twitter. “These sites will include Stake, Rollbit, Duelbits, and Roobet. However, we may identify others as we move forward.”

The company’s call to take a harder line against gaming entities based outside the US arrives after some star streamers bilked followers out of large sums of money to feed betting habits. Pokimane – a popular video game streamer and creator on Twitch, is urging the platform to ban all betting-related content.

Poker, Sports Betting Safe on Twitch…for Now

Stake, a crypto-based casino and sportsbook, is rightfully in Twitch’s crosshairs. It was recently revealed that a popular streamer — Felix “xQc” Lengyel — drove nearly $120 million in revenue to Stake by endorsing the site to his Twitch followers.

For now, fantasy sports, poker and sports betting websites will be allowed on Twitch, according to the company’ statement. There is no more elaboration beyond that comment, but it’s reasonable to surmise the firm will allow relationships with licensed, US-based gaming operators.

Last week, DraftKings  announced it is the official partner of Amazon’s Thursday Night Football broadcast. Under the accord’s terms, the gaming company will provide pre-game and live odds during the games streamed by Amazon.

Bottom line: Twitch isn’t banning all wagering-related content. Rather, its focus is keeping streamers and their followers away from potentially dubious, unscrupulous betting sites.

Reaction to Twitch Decision

More details are expected on Oct. 18 when Twitch unveils the official update of its policies pertaining to betting sites and the like, but for now, reaction to the news is muted.

Replies to the statement on the Twitch Twitter feed run the gamut of earnest criticism, nonsense and hopes that this is a step toward the company addressing alleged racism and sexual misconduct on the platform.

Twitch didn’t comment on the economics of booting international casinos and the like from the platform, but given the popularity of wagering among younger demographics, it’s possible the company derive future benefit from relationships with licensed, regulated, US-based operators.

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