Spotting a fake money streamer is really not that hard – if you know what to look for
Let’s just start by making one thing clear, when it comes to casino streaming, the only thing you can be sure of is that you can be sure of nothing. Unless you have full insight into the finances, it’s simply impossible to determine whether a streamer is gambling using real funds or not. For those of us who have been involved in this industry for some years though, it’s quite easy to spot the obvious fakes. Viewers who want to stay clear of fraudulent affiliates who promote rogue casinos and lie to their viewers will need to rely on common sense, and also learn to see the warning signs which we have outlined in this article.
Consequently, fraudulent streamers cast suspicion on legit streamers too. In fact, it gives everyone involved a bad name and brings harm to the industry as a whole, giving regulators all the more excuses to tighten the noose. Of course, the bad affiliates don’t care since they are located in countries out of reach from the regulators, promoting offshore casinos, while allowed to continue doing their thing without interference from anyone.
As a viewer and gambler, it’s never a bad thing to keep yourself educated and informed. Strangely, some viewers develop a sort of Stockholm syndrome and will aggressively defend their favorite streamer even when all the warning signs are there. Since rogue streamers couldn’t care less about which casinos they promote to their viewers, many of which operate under scam licenses and undoubtedly have links to organised crime, this particular viewer base poses a problem. Effectively, they are the reason fraudulent streamers are allowed to thrive. If you support them by watching their streams or sign up using their links, you are part of the problem.
Fake streamers have been around as long as casino streaming itself and the problem simply refuses to go away. In fact, it has become significantly worse. Following in their footsteps, many new opportunists have emerged, hence the casino streaming scene has become corrupted, attracting all sorts of spam streamers organised by shady groups operating from Serbia, Russia, and other countries beyond the reach of the law and any regulators. In other words, the problem is far more complex as it’s inextricably intertwined with organised crime.
Although publicly discussing the issue is the only real way of making viewers aware of the problem, many legit casino streamers completely avoid the topic as it tends to attract a large number of trolls. In part, these trolls are made up of “haters”, meaning, those who do not like affiliates at all, but also anonymous trolls employed by fake streamers to target their critics in attempts to undermine their credibility. The tactics they employ is to use manipulative ad hominem arguments (rather than discussing the fake money issue) along the lines of; “promoting rogue casinos linked to criminal activity, and lying to your viewers about playing with real funds while doing €100 fake bets, is no more harmful than someone playing with casino bonuses, so who are they to judge.”
This, of course, is a false equivalence argument, as there is a big difference between showing total disregard for your viewers versus making sure the casinos you promote are actually decent while also being transparent about your streaming deals. Another thing fake streamers and their trolls like to do is to play the victim card and pretend to be victims of slander and defamation.
To get back to the initial question – how do you spot a fake streamer? While in many cases it’s impossible to know for sure, there are some tell-tale signs to look out for;
- The streamer in question only plays on low-quality Curacao casinos (and as of late crypto casinos) of which some do not adhere to any rules, laws, or responsible gambling policies, and thus are more prone to offer fake funds. The fake streamers do not play on these sites because they love their great game selections or fast payouts, they do it because those casinos are just as rogue as themselves and willing to become their partners in crime. You never see these streamers play on reputable brands like Rizk, Guts, or Casumo simply because they are not able to match and sustain the same high level of gambling action using real funds. It really is that simple. Editor’s note: it has since come to light that crypto casinos Stake and Roobet are sponsoring streamers, which was also openly admitted by Twitch gamer xQc.
- Screenshots have been circulating of operators (casinos) offering technical solutions to fake the deposit and withdrawal logs in order to look like real transactions. This means that showing these transactions does not automatically make them legit. Again, use your common sense and look at the full picture. Does it add up?
- The streamer regularly makes massive withdrawals on low-quality Curacao casinos to the extent of hundreds of thousands of Euros, yet these casinos are so financially fragile they often need to include ridiculously low withdrawal caps in their terms and conditions.
- For whatever reason, there appears to be a strong correlation between sketchy streamers and developer Pragmatic Play. New streamers emerge from nowhere doing massive bonus buys and bets on Pragmatic slots, frequently landing one ridiculous win after another on Pragmatic slots. Now, it could be that, either Pragmatic Play has the bad taste of paying these spam affiliates to give their slots exposure (as they have been known to do), or it’s simply a coincidence. Editor’s note March 10, 2021: Pragmatic Play comments that they do not have any involvement with the fake streamers and that the exposure is merely a coincidence due to their games being widely played while also offering bonus buy features which the streamers happen to prefer. Pragmatic Play also wished to add that “the financial arrangements are always between the operator and the streamer, and Pragmatic Play has no insight in this.”
- Fake streamers don’t just fake the funds (which can be easily added by the operator using a test account or they are simply not allowed to keep their withdrawals hence why you see them play back the fake funds doing €100k+ bonus hunts), they are also known to use fake view bots to push them to the top of the viewer list on Twitch. For that reason, their chat may seem less active than it should in relation to the viewer count or the viewer list is full of generically named user accounts. Look at the viewer list below, copied from a relatively unknown casino streamer magically appearing on the scene streaming to 10,600 viewers (lol) on Twitch while doing €60 bets with an €18k balance and NOT promoting even ONE single reputable EU-licensed casino:
When you put 1+1 together, and you have a streamer playing on the level of a millionaire Highroller, doing €50-100 bets day in and day out (with ridiculous €15k+ balances) on some crappy coconut island casino while begging for sign-ups, well, it just doesn’t make sense.
With regulators constantly watching their every move, big-name EU-licensed casinos tend to be far more careful when it comes to their partnership with affiliates. It wasn’t always like that though. Back in 2016, LeoVegas was caught providing streamer CasinoRobot with a fake test account, suffering heavy backlash as a result. For the record, LeoVegas did learn their lesson and have publicly apologised and have since implemented new strict guidelines for their streamers to assure the same thing doesn’t happen again. There are also a few casinos that are known within the community for always having had a strong policy against fake funds (as we can attest from experience), namely Casumo, Guts, and Rizk.
Although most game providers we talk to condemn fake money streaming, we’re still not convinced they are really all that bothered. After all, casino streaming has now become their main advertising platform as it allows them to fly under the radar from regulators and putting them in direct connection with the players. Unfortunately, the providers often fail to do proper background checks before partnering up with streamers, or as one of our followers on Twitter commented: “Do you really think anything will change? In the end, the providers will be happy that guys like that (fake streamers) play their games no matter what they say or do publicly.” Sadly, there’s likely some truth to that comment, but know this – we are not paid by any game provider and we do not owe any of them anything. If they mess up, we will hold them accountable as we have done in the past.
So, are there any game providers that are more reliable than others? If you ask us, then yes, without a doubt. The people over at Relax Gaming, for example, have reached out to us on more than one occasion asking for our opinion on certain streamers, showing they are well aware of the problem and wanting to do what’s right. Nolimit City too have spoken out strongly against fake streamers, and the same could be said for Microgaming, Blueprint Gaming, and Yggdrasil Gaming. It’s not fair for shady providers to gain advantages over providers who try to do what is right. As a player, maybe you ought to ask yourself exactly who you want to support. Surely it’s not providers that are in bed with shady affiliates who promote rogue casinos while doing €50-100 fake bets with their Monopoly money trying to entice their viewers to mimic it with real money.
With many years of experience streaming ourselves, we have followed the evolution of the slots streaming scene closely ever since it took its very first steps. Hence we have good insight and have followed most established streamers for a long time. In the early days, it was well-known within the community that casino brand Multilotto was proving their streamers with fake funds. Today, Multilotto is no longer involved and has been replaced by a long line of questionable casinos such as Mr.Bit (who have been caught providing 96% RTP demo versions, while offering 94% real money versions), Stake, Roobet, and Magical Spin, to name a few, operating under scam licenses 1668/JAZ, 365/JAZ, and 5536/JAZ. If you see a streamer promoting casinos like these, you can be pretty certain they do not care about player safety, let alone fair play.
So what can be done to combat this plague, which not only gives the whole casino industry a bad name but also feeds into organised crime? Well, for starters, you could share this post. Knowledge is power and bringing awareness to the problem may work as an effective way to put pressure on the fraudsters. If you care about having a safe gambling environment, together we have the power to make a real change. That goes for legitimate streamers too, who should set aside their rivalry and work together more effectively.
If you happen to be someone who enjoys watching casino streams, please keep in mind some of the things we’ve pointed out here. Of course, if you already dislike gambling and affiliates, nothing of this will matter to you or change your mind. Still, it does not mean that all casino streamers are equally bad (far from). Though most are affiliates (as are most big streamers across all genres and categories), there are plenty of streamers who genuinely love entertaining, who are gamblers at heart, who comply with regulations, and who have the decency to make responsible decisions when it comes to the casinos they promote to their viewers.