Over the past couple of years, gambling on Twitch has been widely regarded as a bad practice for the platform for some successful creators, but it is still rampant on the platform.
Many new categories and genres can be streamed on Twitch lately. A relatively new ‘Just Chatting’ category has marched its way into the many genres of streaming during the pandemic, and to coincide with the time, it was warranted due to social distancing and regulations for mass gatherings. But with new genres opening up for Twitch a new boom happened on the platform that was initially meant to stream games to a mixed age audience, online gambling streams.
There is a mixed reception regarding this from Twitch’s ‘elite’. Amouranth, Pokimane and Asmongold have notably rejected the practice due to the negative effects it could have on potentially younger viewers. Whereas another successful Twitch streamer, Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel has almost primary made his channel a stream for gambling.
The problem that most on Twitch are having is that the streams give an unrealistic view of gambling to a younger audience, and despite having admitted that he has a ‘gambling addiction’ during a stream, it’s still being accepted as content on the platform. Recent success stories include celebrity rapper Drake winning millions on roulette spins, while continuing to host an audience of thousands while doing it, showing that while winning is possible. Considering xQc and Drake both use the gambling platform Stake to place their bets, there may be more behind the curtain than just ‘lets stream gambling because it’s fun.’
A Bloomberg article highlights the power these streams have on the masses, with 26-year-old Enneric Chabot is explained to have lost “his life savings” throwing bets online. His main reason for gambling is that watching his favourite streamer “gave me a reason to go on Stake, like I was a part of what they were doing,” he told Bloomberg.
Bloomberg highlights the risk associated with these streams considering Chabot didn’t go to Twitch looking for gambling; he simply wanted to watch xQc play Apex Legends, and the stream suddenly turned Casino in nature. While the artist Drake seems to have a hand in the Stake cookie jar behind the scenes, that relationship isn’t directly disclosed during streams, which can look like advertising with extra steps.
Gambling is still safe at Twitch, for now, despite creators like Ludwig actively condemning the practice, placing the accountability on the platform instead of the streamers to ultimately stop the gambling streams. For more information regarding gambling on Twitch, reading the Bloomberg article that paints a broader picture wouldn’t be a bad start, as well as xQc’s response.