In general, there’s no problem with streaming gambling. But we do have a problem if you’re streaming these unregulated third-party sites. More than eight months after the live-streaming platform Twitch instituted a ban on its users from streaming content from unregulated online casinos, the CEO of the Amazon-owned site sat down for an interview with a user to defend the ban — citing Twitch’s obligation to protect the public and to promote responsible gaming.
Twitch instituted the ban on October 18. Users are barred from live streaming content from unregulated online casinos — including slots, roulette, or dice games. But the ban does not extend to fantasy sports, poker, and sports betting. The ban has not been modified since October.
While the ban does not affect poker directly, poker enthusiasts on Twitter and elsewhere are divided over whether the ban is needed.
Twitch CEO Dan Clancy was interviewed by Filian, a female independent furry VTuber based in North America, according to the website Virtual YouTuber Wiki.
Filian posted a nearly 77-minute interview with Clancy to YouTube on May 31. They start to discuss the ban at the 1:06:49 mark.
“We were very surgical [with the ban] because our view was people can decide what they want to watch,” Clancy said. “But the thing that was growing was these unregulated offshore gambling sites.
“And just for people that don’t understand, these are sites that there’s nobody overlooking to see. For example, what are the odds on the craps tables? Did they tweak them? Do they change them? [No one knows] because they’re not regulated.”
Clancy added that “the amount of money that was flowing — where our creators were building the community and connection that they formed on Twitch to drive people through these sites — it was a significant amount of money to a small number of creators. We decided we didn’t think that was good for the community, so we decided to ban the unregulated [sites].
“In general, there’s no problem with streaming gambling. But we do have a problem if you’re streaming these unregulated third-party sites.”
When Filian asked if he thought Twitch would ever lift the ban, Clancy said it would be up to the unregulated sites.
“All I can state is my own view,” the CEO said. “If these sites become regulated because they’re willing to adhere to the regulations of most major countries in terms of what they need to do to be a gambling site, then I’m like, 'well, of course.’
“But if their position is 'no, we are not going to do the things that most of the major countries think are important in terms of consumer protection,’ then our view is we don’t want that on Twitch, driving our community to VPN into these unregulated sites. I don’t feel great about that aspect of it.”
The ban on Twitch appears to have been precipitated by a betting scandal that involved Abraham Mohammed, a British streamer known as “ItsSliker,” or “Sliker” in some quarters of the internet, who scammed an estimated $200,000 to $300,000 from his victims, other users on Twitch.
Several top streamers on Twitch threatened a boycott of the platform if it did not take action against unregulated sites. Calls for Twitch to act were amplified after Mohammed admitted to his fraudulent activities.