Youtuber Coffeezilla has been on the front line criticizing the Twitch gambling meta for a long time. This is what he had to say about the recent Twitch policy update:
Twitch banned gambling, those are three words I thought I’d never be able to say, but with the kind of week Twitch has been having, I guess I shouldn’t say I’m surprised. I mean, they’ve been having more drama than a Spanish soap opera; scams, gambling, cover-ups. This feels like the world’s worst game of prison bingo. Literal crimes have been admitted to here, and then three seconds later nobody cares because somehow something bigger has happened. So look, as much as I want to believe that Twitch has had a crisis of conference here, I think the most logical explanation is that Twitch is in the middle of some kind of a scam criminal drama hurricane. So they’re just looking for something, anything, to make them look like they have control of this situation. Because honestly, right now they look like children trying to pilot a spaceship, like, let’s push this button and see what it does; Oh we banned one of our biggest streamers?
So we’re gonna go over Twitch’s statement on their gambling ban. Basically, the start of it goes over their widespread gambling problem the site has had, and what they plan to do on it. Interestingly, they seem to kind of admit that their old system wasn’t working. They say “Gambling content on Twitch has always been a big topic of discussion, and something we’ve actively been reviewing since our last policy update in this area“. So the full lore on this is basically this isn’t the first time Twitch has been criticized for this. We’ve actually personally been through a Twitch gambling Arc. Remember a year ago Mudahar and I teamed up to defeat the gambling meta on Twitch, and we failed, because, I mean, okay yes, everybody left Roobet casino, right. SteveWillDoIt stopped gambling for like a week, and then everybody moved over to Stake casino, and you know, it got even bigger then. Basically we converted everyone from beer to cerveza. It was the same thing, different name. Anyways, around that time, Twitch issued a statement, because they were getting so much heat about this whole gambling thing which was ruining people’s lives. The stories in gambling addiction are so horrific so they had to do something. So, Twitch announced that they’re going to ban affiliate codes which basically meant the biggest streamers couldn’t directly link their affiliate codes on these gambling websites and make even more money. But this did basically nothing, because, of course, you can just find the codes in two seconds. It’s not hard.
So now, slots are basically bigger than ever this year. Sites like Stake.com are pumping in millions, tens of millions, to get the top streamers to gamble on their website. Basically, people like xQc and Trainwreckstv are full-time casino employees essentially, and they’re part of the reason that slots are now a top 10 category on Twitch. Literally, they’ve had like 45 million watch hours just this month. And I know that number just seems impossibly huge. It’s even bigger than Fortnite. So yeah, Twitch’s efforts to curb gambling content, or whatever, worked about as well as shooting a squirt gun at a house fire. And I guess they seem to kind of acknowledge this when they say “some people circumvented those roles and exposed our community to potential harm.” Like yeah, no duh, people circumvented this rule So, Twitch is basically saying like, okay, no more Mr Nice platform. They’re going to take a harder stance, and they actually did in a weird twist.
They decided to ban slots, dice and roulette and are banning all the biggest crypto casinos. I mean, this is big news guys. Stake, Rollbit, Duelbits and even Roobet who, of course, we’ve talked about before. I mean, this is a ballsy move by Twitch. Especially the fact they named daddy Stake first. They know exactly who’s putting the big dollars into their platform and they know who it’s going to affect the most. For context, Stake is a billion dollar organization. They’re huge. They sponsor the UFC, but one of their biggest marketing vectors this whole time has been the Twitch slots section, where they had the biggest streamers just working for them like 18 hours a day, serving up that hot gambling content.
So, this is a big move by Twitch to just cut it off right there and be like, nope, that’s not happening anymore. I heard that streamer Aiden Ross is already sending out resumes, so RIP to him. But either way, I don’t want to make this sound like it’s the full permaband. I mean there are things not included here. Poker isn’t going away, neither is sports betting, or like fantasy sports, which is probably because most people see them as less harmful forms of gambling, and researchers say that they’re less likely to addict people. I think Twitch kind of has a point here, like, poker is a game invented a long time ago. I don’t actually know, but slots is like literally the results of humans sitting in a research center, tinkering how do we mix the perfect dopamine cocktail for your brain. There’s actually a great book on this called ‘Addiction by Design’ where it goes over how every part of a slot is made to hook your brain on it from the second you sit down.
I mean don’t get me wrong, you definitely can be addicted to these lesser forms of it, but I I think it’s not very arguable that slots are the most important potent form of gambling we currently have. So, I guess the logic here is that they’re not going full black and white, they’re just kind of drawing the line at poker and sports betting. Is this policy perfect? No, but I do think it’s a legitimately good start compared to what they’ve done in the past, which is basically nothing. And I know it’s going to anger some people who are going to come in and say; what about personal responsibility? They have a point to this, and I want to address that, because I’m all for individual accountability at the individual level.
If you’re addicted, yes, you have to take personal accountability. No one’s going to get you out of your situation. But when we’re talking about a platform, that argument goes out the window, because you know who doesn’t talk about personal accountability when it comes to gambling? Stake.com. At no point in their revenue share meetings are they talking about like, oh darn it, you know people are just taking too much personal accountability. We’re losing Revenue here. No, they think of people as statistics, as they should. At their level, they know; if you we want to pay xQc 10 million dollars a year, this is how many people we need to get on our site. And that percentage of people, we know exactly how many people are going to spend a hundred dollars, we know exactly how what percentage of people are going to get addicted, and etc, etc. They don’t view things at the individual level, because they’re a platform. That would make no sense.
In fact, the only time gambling sites talk about personal accountability is when it suits them. Of course, the people selling addiction want to talk about how it’s your job to not get addicted. And again; are they wrong at the individual level? They’re not. That is the only way to solve individual problems, but if the way to solve individual problems is at the individual level, what is the way to solve a platform-wide problem. Well, it’s at the platform level, and that’s what Twitch is finally doing. I mean, you can’t just ignore the fact your platform is the gateway drug for a lot of people to get addicted to gambling forever. And believe me, Twitch has tried to ignore, but they just can’t anymore, so I definitely think this is a step in the right direction.
Watch the full video here.