Twitch Gambling: How do you Gamble on Twitch?

Twitch gambling enjoyed a lot of popularity thanks to streamers like xQc, but has recently been banned by the platform.

Pop Culture

Since launching in 2011, Twitch has become of the world’s largest streaming platforms. With at least 15 million daily users, it’s little wonder that Twitch was acquired by Amazon in a $970 million deal to incorporate the streaming service into Amazon’s larger portfolio.

Although Twitch is probably most famous for eSports and gaming streams, Twitch is actually an incredibly diverse platform that enables its streamers to develop a close relationship with their audience. Viewers can relax in a ‘Just Chatting’ stream, and streamers include ‘home-grown’ Twitch stars and celebrities, pro wrestlers, and even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez!

Online gambling on Twitch drew a lot of criticism. Rather than actively gambling yourself, this consists of watching popular streamers as they play real money slots, online poker, and other online casino games. Streamers, viewers, and the wider public who have collectively called on Twitch to clamp down on the practice.

What is Twitch Gambling?

Twitch gambling streams are, in many ways, very similar to any other gaming stream. Instead of watching a streamer play CS:GO or Valorant, you watch them play online slots for real money principally on crypto casino sites. In addition to slots, there are plenty of popular Twitch poker streamers as well. Viewers can chat and comment while the streamer plays the game, following along on the highs and lows of the game.

In the abstract, Twitch gambling looks very similar to any other Twitch stream and involves no active gameplay unlike if you were to play at a USA online casino. But in reality, Twitch gambling streams are troubling to many observers as they potentially glamorize and promote gambling to Twitch’s relatively young audience.

Traditional gaming companies have quickly come to realize that Twitch is a fantastic opportunity to promote and sell their games to a wider audience. Both Fall Guys and Among Us exploded in popularity around the world thanks to their popularity on Twitch. The concern is, therefore, that when popular streamers play and promote online gambling they do so in an unsafe and unregulated manner.


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Why is Twitch Gambling so Controversial?

The controversy around Twitch gambling largely began with an online petition calling to ban these unregulated gambling streams. Much of the controversy surrounds xQc, the most watched Twitch streamer in both 2020 and 2021, who frequently featured online slots in his streams to an audience of up to 100,000 viewers.

xQc quit gambling on Twitch in 2021 citing his struggles with gambling addiction but returned to Twitch gambling in 2022 and continues to promote his gambling sponsorships on stream. By all accounts, his streams are good business for his sponsors as his promo code was encouraging thousands of deposits at his partner crypto and Bitcoin gambling sites.

His continued promotion of online gambling has been criticized by other prominent streamers, such as Pokimane, and has drawn considerable controversy due to the potential age of his viewers.

Although Twitch maintains that the average age of its users is 21, at least 20% is below the legal gambling age and this is probably under-reported due to younger viewers misrepresenting their age (Twitch only allows users over the age of 13, but this is not strictly enforced). This potentially means that a large section of any Twitch gambling stream audience is under 18. You can quickly see how the unregulated advertising of gambling to minors is more than controversial.

How Has Twitch Clamped Down on Gambling and Betting?

Thus far, streamers and other commentators have taken more concrete steps to address Twitch gambling than the platform has itself. Although Twitch did take the step of prohibiting promo codes back in 2021, xQc continues to stream online slot content. To a large extent, it has been other streamers who have debated the issues surrounding gambling on Twitch rather than the platform itself.

Back in 2016, Twitch did clamp down on streams where people could bet on skins in CS:GO. This was probably more as a result of Valve clamping down on platforms which allowed for gambling on Steam. This fact does not seem to have gone unnoticed as the current petition against Twitch gambling specifically highlights prominent advertisers on  Twitch to notify companies such as Pepsi, McDonalds, and Uber that they are inadvertently advertising on gambling content.

As of October 18th 2022, Twitch has made the final change to once and for all decide the fate of the gambling community. With the announcement made in their blog post, Twitch has prohibited unsafe slots, roulette and dice gambling sites. As mentioned previously, Twitch was already taking appropriate measures to limit the streaming of gambling content. With the newest change, Twitch has officially prohibited the streaming of gambling content from providers that are not licensed in the U.S. What does this mean actually?

Did Twitch Ban Gambling Content?

In a way yes, but there is more to it so the answer is not a clear yes or a no. As of October 18th 2022, streamers cannot stream gambling content from casinos not licensed in the U.S. From their community guideline, we can see that they no longer allow users to share links or affiliate codes to sites that contain slots, roulette, or dice games. Even linking these prohibited sites in your chat will get you in trouble with Twitch.

So, in short, Twitch did sort of ban gambling content but also did not. All streaming of fantasy sports, sports betting, and poker is still allowed on Twitch. It is a slippery slope for everyone and there is a learning curve for both Twitch and streamers. Hence why, they started enforcing these rules by first issuing a warning to streamers that break these rules as Twitch themselves have stated “That said, we know this may be an adjustment for some and will be levering warnings in addition to suspensions in applicable cases in order to be fairer to streamers who may not have understood the change yet.”

Furthermore, Twitch also has to contend with the issue of loot boxes. These microtransactions in video games are essentially blind boxes, you buy a digital pack of items and hope to receive something of value. Recently the Netherlands and Belgium have taken concrete steps to ban loot boxes which they argue constitute gambling and similar legislation has been considered in the US.

So long as loot boxes remain an important monetization feature of games such as FIFA and Overwatch, Twitch is always going to have some gambling streams on site.

Can You Gamble on Twitch?

You can’t gamble directly on Twitch in the same way as you might at a real money online casino. Naturally, if you want to become a streamer yourself you are currently not free to stream yourself playing any of the most popular online casino games, except for poker. From the looks of it, it is better to stay away from streaming gambling content as the rules are not crystal clear.

Here at Gamble Online, we always encourage players to gamble at a safe online casino in a healthy way. If you feel that you have a gambling addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Do not gamble if you are below the legal gambling age in your jurisdiction.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience writing online casino reviews and game guides. His betting strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004.

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