The change had an immediate impact and that our community has been better protected from scams and related harms. Twitch announced that it has expanded its ban on streaming content from unregulated online casinos to include gambling sites Blaze and Gamdom.
The expansion comes as the Amazon-owned platform acknowledged that its gambling viewership had dropped nearly 75% since October, when it initiated the ban.
“This meant the change had an immediate impact and that our community has been better protected from scams and related harms,” Twitch said Wednesday through its Twitch Support account on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter.
The platform added that since it had updated its policy, “we’ve observed some new trends and are updating our list of prohibited sites to better protect our community.”
It’s important that the policy continues to meaningfully prevent harm. Twitch didn’t specify what the new trends were, so it was unclear if it was trying to articulate that some of the sites it had previously banned had changed their behavior for the better, or if it was signaling that it was ready to ban additional sites, if necessary.
Still, Twitch is making a powerful statement on its own by targeting Blaze and Gamdom. That’s because neither can be accessed directly in the US — users must instead rely on virtual private networks (VPNs) to gain access.
“It’s important that the policy continues to meaningfully prevent harm,” Twitch said. “In the future, updates to the policy will be reflected in our community guidelines.”
Twitch Started Ban to Prevent Boycott
Twitch instituted the ban in the wake of a gambling scandal that hit the platform last September. Abraham Mohammed, a British streamer known as “ItsSliker,” or “Sliker” in some quarters of the internet, admitted to scamming an estimated $200,000 to $300,000 from his victims — other users on Twitch.
With several top streamers on Twitch threatening a boycott if the platform did not take action against unregulated sites, Twitch ultimately decided to ban its users from live streaming content from unregulated online casinos — including slots, roulette, or dice games. But the ban did not extend to fantasy sports, online poker, or sports betting.
The ban also does not include regulated US sites, so licensed US online casino apps in six states — Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia — are not affected.
Four online casinos — Duelbits, Rollbit, Roobet, and Stake — were the only four operators that Twitch mentioned by name when it first announced the ban. Blaze and Gamdom have now been added to that list.
The ban had not been changed until Wednesday. Twitch CEO Dan Clancy defended the ban in a wide-ranging interview on the platform last June.
Several streamers remain unhappy about the ban and have moved to other platforms. One that appears to be benefiting from the ban is Kick — a startup platform that is now reportedly home for Tyler Faraz Niknam and Felix Lengyel, aka “Trainwreck” and “xQc” on Twitch, respectively.
Trainwreck and xQc are both sponsored by Stake. Their comments on social media suggest there are still some hard feelings about the ban and the fact that they were lumped in with a bad actor, Sliker.