October 10th, 2022 | Updated on July 29th, 2023
Amazon owned streaming platform Twitch announced a policy update set to block streams of unlicensed gambling sites. The move is seen as a step towards better consumer protection and a sense of responsibility towards minors and vulnerable users.
Unregulated Operators Out In The Cold
In a major change or its content policy, Twitch announced that cryptocurrency gambling sites would not be allowed on its platforms as of October 18. The tech giant, an Amazon subsidiary, is a market leader in streaming services in a host of countries worldwide, rivaling YouTube particularly in the gaming segment.
More importantly, Twitch is banning streams from unlicensed gaming sites that have no permit to operate in the U.S. or “other jurisdictions [with] sufficient consumer protection.” Several crypto casinos were explicitly cited – the likes of Stake.com, Rollbit.com and Duelbits.com. However, the ban is expected to hit most unregulated offshore casino platforms in the long run.
Casinos and betting sites that accept crypto payments often elude US and European regulations, payment limits and financial transparency policies. But the news is actually seen as a good turn of events for most fans of a good online roulette game or a poker session with friends.
Reputable online casinos and gambling websites that offer slots, roulette and dice licensed by established Gambling Commissions will still be allowed via fan groups, influencer streams and other channels. The move is expected to sift through the bad actors on the market and leave the ones with responsible gaming policies and stricter gambling compliance in place.
The official Twitch statement mentioned that the ban is not applicable to sports betting, fantasy sports and poker. Other regulated casinos should expect to avoid limitations as well.
Gambling streams across the internet have long been a subject of a heated debate. Some consumer groups claim that they promote the type of “fun and games” that may be undesirable for some users, especially kids and players with a history of problem gambling.
Others insist that streamers and reviewers tend to educate and explain the gambling industry along with much expected game releases. Slots are a prime example, ranking often among the top 10 streaming categories on Twitch.
It seems that the company has taken the matter in their hands, separating instantly unlicensed operators from the prestigious ones on the market. Referral links and codes will still not be allowed during streams and in content descriptions, company sources said. They are also seen as a way to circumvent existing and upcoming policies, particularly with redirects to unlicensed offshore gambling sites.
Most regulated casino sites receive their licenses from U.S. and Australian Gambling Regulators in a given State or Gaming Commissions registered in the leading European and Caribbean jurisdictions. They follow anti-money laundering policies, responsible gaming and minor protection policies, transparent game mechanics and adhere to advertisement codes before being approved for online operations. Industry experts have expressed their satisfaction that those with history and reputation will finally be able to stand out in the ever growing market for streaming services.
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