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Big Money Going to Gambling Wagers at Unregulated Casinos
Gambling streams have always been a subject of controversy. However, the topic heated up again when Twitch star, xQc, revealed that he accepted a sponsorship deal one year after retiring due to addiction. He confirmed that $119 million had been generated from fans using his promotional code.
The gambling company in question, Curacao-based Stake.com, also partners with other huge streamers like Adin Ross and Trainwreckstv. The latter claims an income of $1M a month to gamble on Stake.com while streaming. While these streamers often donate money to charitable causes, the underlying problem remains the promotion of harmful gambling content.
Several of these promoted gambling platforms are unregulated crypto casinos. Not only are these sites illegal in the US, but they also do not have the necessary measures to filter out minors and vulnerable players.
These unregulated crypto casinos promote anonymous gambling and do not carry out ID verification. 41% of Twitch users are between the ages of 16 -24, according to statistics. So, such ads on the platform could expose minors to the risks of gambling.
Worse still, these unregulated sites have poor responsible gambling measures. The lack of ID verification means that self-excluded players can easily let themselves back in by opening a new account.
Twitch May be Complicit
Unregulated crypto casinos clearly use unethical practices to prey on gamblers, and Twitch may not be completely free of blame. Although the company had introduced anti-gambling restrictions back in 2011 by prohibiting sharing links and/or referral codes to sites that offer slots, roulette, or dice games, no measures have been taken to prevent broadcasters from promoting these unregulated casinos on the platform.
Eliminating the Influence on Vulnerable Players
The online petition started by Erin Jordan on May 20 calls on Twitch to curb the practice as it exposes young viewers and racial minorities, who are some of the most prone to gambling addiction.
The petition also calls on other Twitch advertisers like Pepsi, McDonald's, and Uber to take a stand against these gambling ads. The petition states:
"Your advertisements on Twitch are being played next to Twitch broadcasters who promote unregulated online casinos that disproportionately damage young viewers and racial minorities." It further urges these companies to use their influence to call for an end to unregulated casino live streams to help protect the vulnerable.
While it's yet to hit the 500 mark, the petition is gaining steady traction. The response to it, however, remains to be seen.
Bobbie is a table games fanatic and a very good poker player. Having finally realised his dream of playing at the WSOP in 2019 (he didn’t cash!), he has committed himself to studying casino odds and strategy. His top tip? Always stay in control!