Why is casino streaming a thing? Where is casino streaming going? How do you even stream? Don't worry, Bigwinboard's got you covered!
Casino streaming has been around for a long time, but it's only just recently that it has turned into big business for both online casinos and streamers alike. Poker was and still is, the major gambling attraction on the streaming platforms, but slots are definitely on the rise. Poker and slots are two very different animals of course, with Poker being a less stigmatized form of gambling whereas slots has a somewhat tainted reputation, regarded by some as a stupid form of gambling where players basically just throw money at the machine and hope for the best.
At the time of writing, the Poker section on Twitch has around 650,000 followers, while the casino section (mainly slot streams) has just over 300,000 followers. While the Poker section has more than double the amount of followers it doesn't have that many more active viewers and the casino section is slowly catching up.
As we've talked about in an earlier article, CasinoTwitcher was likely the one who made casino streaming a thing and is regarded as a bit of a legend within the casino streaming community. He has since stopped streaming, disillusioned with the commercialization of casino streaming, with no plans of a comeback.
Casino Streaming Today
Much has changed since the emergence of casino streaming, and CasinoTwitcher does have a point regarding the commercialization of the casino section. As casinos are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of casino streaming and its influence on brand awareness, the number of casinos represented on the streaming platforms is growing rapidly. Twitch casino is a very different place today than a couple of years ago.
The biggest "intrusion" (as some purists regard it), was the recent acquisition of the streaming network Casinogrounds, now owned in majority by LeoVegas. While most don't seem too bothered with the politics of casino streaming, other's worry about the growing influence of casinos on individual streamers, something they feel bring harm to the community and the credibility of casino streamers.
One should keep in mind, however, that the competition in the casino industry is ferocious, and if a new market is identified, everyone is going to go for it. Today there are new streamers appearing at an ever faster pace - some doing it for fun, other's more business orientated affiliates. A handful of streamers have now established themselves at the top of the hierarchy, dominating much of the section and leaving the rest of the lot fighting for the leftovers.
What many of the top ranking streamers have in common is generally a higher than average bet size, though some do try to keep it at somewhat sane levels. While a big bankroll and big bets certainly seems to increase the leve of excitement, it will not get you all the way. It's hard to say in detail what makes a great streamer but to claim that it's easy is far from true. Obviously, it doesn't necessarily take a great entertainer to rank high, as we have seen quite a few tired streamers attract decent amount of viewers. The only way to know is to try yourself and see if you have what it takes to make it.
Casino Streaming Criticism
In many cultures, gambling is stigmatized and regarded as something negative. Casino streamers are definitely not sheltered from criticism either with casino streaming often being at the center of controversy. The main concerns voiced by critics often involve issues regarding responsible gambling and they way streamers present themselves and gambling. Ever increasing bets, alcohol, false representation of gambling, and reckless betting are some of the things often discussed both on casino forums and even during live streams as well. Although far from perfect, the recent changes to the UKGC compliance guidelines, and the maturing of the streaming community itself, appears to have had an effect and many casino streamers have become better at informing viewers on responsible gambling.
Other's, however, are of the opinion that casino streaming is helping them control their own gambling urges. They often lay forward the argument that watching streamers play their favorite slots is enough to keep them satisfied and that witnessing big wins and cold streaks helps put things into perspective. It's basically a way to get their fix without actually playing themselves.
Competitions, Giveaways & Charity
Raffles and giveaways are and have always been, a big part of the streaming culture. It's not only a way for streamers to show appreciation to their followers, but it also helps attract new viewers. For casino streamers, giveaways are essential as it's often an effective way of getting viewers to register to the casino being promoted. It's so common and widespread that viewers have come to expect them and its not unusual for some viewers to be in it only for the competitions.
Every streamer has his or her way of organizing raffles, but it usually involves some minor requirements to allow as many as possible to sign up to the casino. Many times the giveaways will require you to do nothing more than to opt-in, with a chance of winning quite a lot of money.
In addition to the competitions, some casino streamers (usually the bigger ones) will organize charity streams from time to time, where part of the winnings and the money donated to the channel, will be forwarded to a charity of choice.
How To Stream Casino
To set up your own channel and start streaming is not very hard, but to become a successful streamer is harder of course. With time, the slot section is also becoming increasingly competitive as more streamers are fighting for attention. People that stumble into the casino streaming section are most likely to pick the streamers listed first - in other words, those with most viewers. That's just lazy, convenient human nature. But don't let this bring you down or deter you from trying yourself. Most successful streamers have had at least a year of hard struggle before getting noticed, but if you have what it takes if you are a true gambler at heart, and with some good timing, it's possible to skyrocket yourself up in a relatively short amount of time. Established streamers are never safe, however, and we have seen some of them drop significantly in viewer count for various reasons.
In any case, it will take hard work, persistence, and dedication to get anywhere, and there will never be any guarantee of success. Most importantly, you must genuinely enjoy streaming, otherwise, you won't last in the long run. Before you get anywhere at all, you will have to suffer through many streams with few to no viewers, a silent chat, and streaks of bad luck to top it off.
Casino Streaming Tips And Pointers
- It's a good idea to stream to both Twitch and Youtube to maximize your audience. Youtube is also a great place to upload your big wins with the chance of it becoming viral or getting included in big win compilations. As of May 2018, Youtube has been banning and removing channels streaming live, so beware!
- A streaming schedule is advised and something most successful streamers make use of. It makes life easier for your viewers, knowing exactly when you're expected to go live. This also gives you an opportunity to accumulate a larger audience from the first minute of streaming instead of having to waste 30 minutes for the first few viewers to arrive.
- There is a snowball effect involved when streaming. The more viewers you have, the more viewers are likely to join along the way, which in turn bumps up your position. All the largest streamers spend at least 4 hours per broadcast (up to 8 hours is even better) for full effect.
- Negotiate streaming deals with online casinos. Unless you are a millionaire it is absolutely essential. Streaming bonuses help make the sessions last longer, which in turn extends the opportunity to promote yourself and your casino. The more money you generate through affiliation, the more you can re-invest into your stream and bankroll. Remember, increased bets usually mean an increase in viewer count.
- Avoid the temptation of cheating. Fake money streaming used to be a thing and is still a major problem. Thankfully, casinos are more aware today and good casinos don't want to be associated with cheating. Streamers who have once been suspected of using fake money, or view botting, are still to this day shunned by a large portion of streamers and viewers in the community. Examples of casinos that are considered 100% genuine are Casumo, Thrills, Kaboo, Guts, Rizk and Videoslots.
- Larger casinos have bigger financial muscles and are more likely to offer you good streaming bonuses, yet it may be a good idea to go with a smaller casino that is not overexposed on Twitch and Youtube. Attracting new players to popular casinos is very hard as most players will already have an account. It's even harder when trying to compete with established streamers that have vacuumed the community of potential customers.
- There is no need to over complicate things. You don't need fancy setups or green screens. If you watch the most popular streamers it's just your average joe having fun spinning slots.
What You Need To Stream Casino
It doesn't take much more than a decent computer and internet connection to get started streaming, but the more you're willing to invest into your channel (both time and money) the greater the chance of success, although a great and positive personality will get you further than any technical pimping. Just to give you an idea of what a professional streaming setup may look like we've added an example in the picture above.
At first, one monitor will probably be sufficient, but most streamers add a second, and even a third monitor down the road as their streams are becoming more technically advanced. A common way of utilizing the monitors is to use one solely for the slots action, and the other one for chat windows, streaming software and notepads.
In the example above, the streamer is making use of a boom arm and shock mount for the microphone, the latter used to prevent vibration from traveling up the mic stand and getting to the diaphragm of the mic. What we don't see in the picture, however, is a noise protection filter (sometimes referred to as pop killer).
Don't underestimate good lighting. There's really no need for a dedicated spotlight, and often the monitors themselves will provide much light, but streaming is a social thing and the social aspect is likely the single most important factor when streaming. Viewers want to see your facial expressions when you win, when you lose, when unexpected things happen and when you cringe.
Here is a summary of what you need to get your streaming career going:
- First of all, you need an account on Twitch. It may also be a good idea to create a channel on Youtube Live.
- To be able to stream you need a program called Open Broadcaster Software. If you're not a technical person it can be a bit confusing initially. If you need help, reach out to our forum members and they'll help you with your questions!
- To be able to stream to both Twitch and Youtube at the same time you need a service called Restream. It is free of charge and you log in using your Twitch account.
- Streaming requires a fairly strong computer (CPU) and internet upload speed. You can always lower your video frame settings in OBS Player, but it's advised to have at least 5 Mbit/s upload if you want to be able to stream in 720p.
- It's possible to stream without using a camera and some do it quite successfully. But if you have ambitions to battle in the top league you will have to show your face. People are social creatures and a big part of social streaming is the facial expressions and emotional reactions. A simple webcam such as the Logitech C270 will do.
- You can use a headset to stream your voice but a dedicated USB microphone is a good investment. Blue Yeti is a popular choice.
Casino Streaming And The Road Ahead
As long as affiliation allows players to make an earning, casino streaming will always be around. There are some concerns about Twitch and Youtube closing down casino streaming as both of these media giants are American based companies, a nation that has banned online gambling in all but 3 states.
Casino streaming has been closed down previously on Twitch and Youtube for unknown reasons so no one is safe. As long as Twitch and Youtube are the main platforms for streamers there will always be a degree of uncertainty.