For nearly as long as casino streaming has existed it has been the subject of controversy, and as it continues to grow, so does the intensity of the debate. Usually, the focus is on fake money streaming, something that is considered to be a widespread problem by both viewers and streamers alike. To the frustration of the legit streamers, even some of the biggest names in the slots category are known to gamble using fake funds (and viewer bots) as means to attract customers to the casinos they promote.
Recently, there’s been a huge uptick in casino streamers suddenly promoting a particular trio of crypto casinos, namely Stake, Gamdom, and Roobet. It has been suspected that the casinos in question recruit Twitch gamers and streamers by sponsoring them with cash and non-withdrawable funds (or limited withdrawals) to gamble with on stream.
Traditionally speaking, gambling on stream has been a form of entertainment provided mainly by dedicated casino streaming channels such as Letsgiveitaspin, Blackcatseven, Chipmonkz, and Rocknrolla, to name just a few; these were some of the earliest casino streamers to emerge on the scene. Recently, however, an increasing number of well-known gamers have been seen gambling on stream as well, such as Finnish gamer AndyPyro who made the Bigwinboard headlines when he landed a €240k win on the game Fire in the Hole xBomb.
Even bigger names are now joining in on the trend. A few weeks ago, popular US streamer Ice Poseidon, primarily a video gamer and IRL streamer, could be seen broadcasting his gambling session whilst playing on Roobet casino as has also esports gamer TrainwrecksTV. But even that was nothing compared to what was to follow. On April 23, 2021, 25-year-old French Canadian Twitch streamer Félix Lengyel, better known by his alias xQc or xQcOW, streamed his gambling session on crypto casino Stake. A former professional Overwatch player, xQc has 5.5 million followers on Twitch and 1.5 million on Youtube. During his gambling stream, the viewer count reached as high as 125k viewers.
Having ended his sponsored session on unlicensed crypto casino Stake in a significant loss, xQc then switched to streaming Minecraft. While some viewers took xQc in defense for having gambled on stream, arguing that he is a grown man that can do whatever he wants with his money, far more were critical of the famed streamer. Many viewers choose to show their disapproval through a hail of auto-read donation messages, with some examples listed below;
- “I was watching you play slots and tried myself and lost all my money. Now I cannot pay my rent. Will you give me back my money?“
- “Remember when you said you wouldn’t gamble in front of kids?“
- “I could have used my money to pay my mortgage but now I lost it all“
- “30% of viewers are under 18 and use their mother’s credit card. We just watched Félix lose 100k“
- “I might be a f*****g idiot, but isn’t gambling banned in the US?“
- “I just got a sudden urge to gamble all my life savings away“
As we have reported in the past, crypto casinos Roobet, Gamdom, and Stake have been making an aggressive push on Twitch, sponsoring streamers with fake funds or only allowing them to keep a small percentage of their withdrawals. When confronted on stream, Félix frustratingly uttered “I want to censor but I’m not. It’s getting out of hand boys“. He then followed up by saying “gambling is bad, gambling is s**t“. Félix eventually decided he’d had enough and briefly turned off the auto-read messages.
Unsurprisingly, many find it problematic that popular gamers, who have built a massive following predominantly made up of children and young adults, can be seen switching between gambling and video games during the same stream without any sort of age-gating in place. As the debate becomes all the more heated, it will be interesting to see for just how long Twitch will be able to ignore the elephant in the room.