Twitch Is The Latest Platform To Act On Gambling

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With ongoing efforts from Governments around the world to clamp down on what they see as social media failures to comply with local laws, regulations and to deal with issues such as pornography, self harm and other such online problems – there is also a big issue when it comes to gambling and the claims by some that firms are deliberately attempting to promote themselves to a younger, underage audience.

Amazon owned livestreaming platform Twitch has this week attempted to address some of those concerns from campaigners, and they have announced a partial ban on gambling which will specifically effect the promotion of slots, roulette and dice games on their service.  The ban will be specifically enforced by banning videos of gambling sites that are not licensed to trade in the United States as well as including those sites not licensed in ‘other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection.’  In short, the company explained that it does not have an issue with safe and regulating gambling content derived from sites like this, if you choose to click here, they just simply want to ensure that should a problem arise for a consumer who takes the plunge on these types of games after watching some of their streamed content, there are clear lines of communication available – and transparency – to the relevant company, to ensure whatever the issue is, can be resolved.

The ban, which will come into play next week on October 18, will also include cryptocurrency gambling sites such as Stake.com, which is based on the Caribbean island of Curacao.

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In a statement posted up on social media giant Twitter – click here – Twitch explained the change.

“Gambling content on Twitch has been a big topic of discussion in the community, and something we’ve been actively reviewing since our last policy update in this area. Today, we want to update you on our plans. While we prohibit sharing links or referral codes to all sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games, we’ve seen some people circumvent those rules and expose our community to potential harm.”

The statement went on to say.

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

Twitch went on to confirm that websites which focused on sports betting, fantasy sports and poker would continue to be allowed on their service – many will not believe this step goes far enough, others will be content that it is a start that can be built on and expanded as time moves forward.

Gambling is obviously a very lucrative industry, and it can be very profitable for streamers who focus on that kind of content.  With it claimed that at certain times of the day, statistics show that more people are watching streams of virtual slot machines far more than even streams of Minecraft, the market is obviously there and Twitch simply need to strike the balance and they have the technology to do that.

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Naturally the community itself is split, some streamers make good money, but that in many ways should not be harmed by the latest changes, whereas others believe that gambling streams have too much dominance on the platform, bring down the overall quality of the site and are also harmful to legitimate advertisers.

The debate will undoubtedly go on and Twitch’s decision will be both criticised and praised depending on what side of the fence you sit, but it is hard to imagine that legitimate and licensed gambling sites – who do not fall within the change – will be overly concerned here.

 

 

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