Disclaimer: Although intended to offer a balanced perspective, this is an article written to stimulate debate. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official policy.
Fake casino streamers – here is what you should know
Anyone who knows anything about casino streaming is probably aware of the fact that it’s been plagued with dubious practices such as fake money streaming and view botting for a very long time. Despite being heavily debated for years now amongst enraged viewers and frustrated streamers alike, the situation doesn’t seem to have improved much.
Even though streamers suspected of faking it have been called out with compelling evidence on more than one occasion, the rebuke seems to have been rolling of them like water off a duck’s back. As a matter of fact, many of the genuine streamers are unwilling to take the fight because they worry about potential backlash. As it turns out, fake casino streamers are often well-organised. They expect attacks and are used to them. Scammers are typically unscrupulous people. They have no problem lying in your face and know exactly how to twist the truth in order to make themselves appear as victims of slander and defamation.
One common such tactic is to portray the accuser as someone who is trying to bring down their competitor. Like brainwashed members of a cult, fake casino streamers are also typically backed by their followers (or trolls, no one knows for sure) who tend to come to the rescue on whichever social media platform the discussion happens to take place.
These unscrupulous fake casino streamers are generally also the same kind of people who run shady affiliate sites that are made to look like professional reviewing sites but have zero ambition to build anything of actual value to offer the reader. Instead, they resort to bad practices such as systematically stealing content from other websites and ripping off their content. Sometimes they even intentionally target problem gamblers using keywords like “casinos not on Gamstop” as, for example, casino streamers Fruity Slots were caught doing. Unfortunately, there are plenty of reputable casinos and game providers who are ok with this as long as the customers continue to roll in.
Not all viewers realise that there is a lot of money involved in casino streaming. What was once new experimental ground for a small group of affiliates on which to combine their passion for slots with affiliation has now turned into a large-scale industry. Since then, it has attracted a myriad of fortune-seekers and shady affiliates. The casino streaming scene is literally overflowing with new streamers who appear to have seemingly unlimited balances, and who are able to pull off ‘bonus hunts‘ worth thousands of Euros whilst betting 10-50€ per spin day in and day out like it’s perfectly normal.
This reckless behavior is not something that is restricted to fake casino streamers though. All big streamers have more or less gone down this route, becoming mandatory for those fighting for the top spot. 1€ bets just don’t cut it anymore. This behavior has also been normalized and used as an incentive to encourage viewers (and potential customers) to take bigger risks. While it’s easy to point fingers and blame all streamers, it’s important to remember that, for the “good guys” to be able to compete with the fake casino streamers, they have been forced to increase their bets over time in order to stay relevant.
Sadly, all of this has contributed to making regulations tighter, hence ruining the experience for regular players whilst putting affiliates who play by the book in a bad spot. The Online casinos, meanwhile, don’t seem too bothered about responsible gambling issues – only when they are forced to, at which point it’s always too late. The game providers aren’t much better. They seem perfectly happy to endorse whichever streamers that are willing to accept their sponsor money and seem more capable of flying under the radar of regulators. Seeing that the casino industry has been more or less banned from advertising on radio and TV, casino streamers can offer some sweet exposure.
At this point, you might be asking yourself why regulators are not imposing a complete ban on streaming? The short answer is; they can’t really do that. While the UK Gambling Commission has clearly shown its disapproval on several occasions, which was expressed in one of their more recent license condition updates, and which also forced UK streamers to abandon Twitch and age-gate their Youtube videos, they hold no jurisdiction outside of UK borders. A streamer located in Malta remains unaffected by these rules. While doing research for one of our articles, the UK Gambling Commission wrote us:
As an organisation we are aware of gambling streams and we are continually monitoring their impact. We have been engaging with Twitch to ensure they understand their responsibilities under the Gambling Act 2005 regarding their content, and their obligations in regard to responsible gambling.
It may sound like we are on a mission to bash the whole casino streaming community, but that is not our intention. As many of our readers know, Bigwinboard has its roots in casino streaming and that’s where it all began for the founders of the site. It’s also the very reason why we feel so passionately about it. There are many decent, honest, and genuine casino streamers worth watching for those who are into it. Sadly, they don’t always get the attention they deserve because, let’s face it, acting like a clown and doing ridiculous bets works. It’s become a freak-show for the gullible.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for supporters of fake casino streamers to utter things like; “I don’t care if it’s fake, I enjoy the entertainment“. What they don’t realise is that these streamers are typically indirectly feeding organisations involved in fraud, money laundering, and other criminal activities. These streamers don’t care about their reputation, regulations, or responsible gambling. They have close ties with casinos that hide behind weak licenses and scummy company structures. Surely this is not what honest, decent people want to support?
So how exactly do you identify a fake casino streamer? Well, some common sense will get you a long way. Which casinos are they promoting? Do they seem legit? Does the betting behavior seem realistic? If this guy is a multi-millionaire spending thousands every day, why is he/she begging for signups or even accepting donations? If you do some simple research you will probably also notice that certain names will come up more frequently than others in the fake money debate, and it’s usually not because they are popular.
Having said that, it’s very easy for anyone to fake it. Showing one’s deposits and withdrawals proves nothing really (but hesitating to display it when asked may indicate something is wrong). In any case, there are all sorts of creative ways to get around it. For example, some streamers receive ridiculously high bonuses that may come with withdrawal caps and whatnot. In other cases, the casinos themselves may directly deposit fake funds for the streamer to use.
Making things a bit more complex is the fact that many people have different opinions on what actually qualifies as real money play. The absolute purists believe that gambling funds should come from ‘honest earnings’ and that the conditions should be the same as it is for regular players. Furthermore, many also argue that systematic use of bonuses along with special bonus terms paints an unrealistic picture of gambling and the risks involved. Many viewers, however, seem to tolerate it as long as the streamer is open about it. Viewers who enjoy watching casino streams will understand that streamers need backing from casinos in order for it to be sustainable.
So how do we get rid of fake casino streaming? Well, under current conditions we likely never will. At the time being it’s simply an unregulated mess. There may, however, be ways to improve its reputation. Here at Bigwinboard.com, we have been discussing the idea of introducing a trusted certified streamers badge. With years of streaming experience ourselves, we feel confident we are one of few independent websites in the industry that would be able to offer certification of any value. We also believe that it is something most genuine streamers would be able to get behind and support.
If you have any information about fake casino streamers that you would like us to look into, please send us a message. We are currently working on an investigatory piece but rely on your help completely.