Twitch plans to crack down on live game streams amid backlash

The Amazon-owned service plans to ban gaming sites from streaming on the platform if they are not licensed in the United States or “in other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protections,” according to a company statement. Posted on Twitter.

“While we prohibit the sharing of links or referral codes to all sites that feature slots, roulette or dice games, we have seen some people circumvent these rules and put our community at potential harm,” the company said in a statement.

The ban will take effect on October 18. Sports betting, fantasy sports and poker sites will continue to be supported on the platform.

Gambling has found its footing on Twitch. “Slots,” where viewers can watch cryptocurrency bets placed at online casinos, is now the tenth-ranked game on Twitch, according to TwitchTracker. Sites like Stake.com, affected by the announced ban, have sponsored Twitch streams to attract new players and allow them to use cryptocurrencies to bet on their platform.

But criticism of the gambling activity has been renewed in recent days after a Twitch streamer live-streamed a video to fans over the weekend claiming he had defrauded them of more than $200,000 to fund his gambling addiction.

Major streamers have called on Twitch to ban the games, with the hashtag #TwitchStopGambling trending on Twitter. Some even discussed a week-long boycott during the holiday season.

“The stakes are huge for the platform. Take it down,” wrote popular streamer and CMO of influencer marketing agency Novo Studios Devin Nash, who had more than 150,000 followers on Twitch before leaving the platform last May. Twitter thread on the weekend “Betting is bad for young Twitch users, bad for legitimate advertisers, and lowers the quality of the site as a whole.”