The Twitch Gambling Meta has been a major point of contention for many in the streaming community. With many popular streamers playing slots and other crypto gambling games on the platform, gambling on Twitch has been gaining prominence.
Fortnite, once synonymous with gaming and streaming, was below Slots in the most-watched category on Twitch last week. According to Twitch Tracker, Slots had an average viewership of 61,881 in the last month. This presents a notable rise, compared to 55,504 average viewers for Fornite and 55,601 for Valve's DOTA 2.
With Twitch gambling streamers pulling thousands of viewers to their often sponsored streams, many have condemned the unfiltered access to gambling provided by the platform. Although most make the argument for the latter rather than the former.
A recent Bloomberg report detailing how some Twitch users were influenced by their favorite streamers to start gambling has been making the rounds on the internet.
“Part of what they were doing”: Twitch gambling streams influenced a man to gamble his life savings away
Cecilia D'Anastasio, a reporter for Bloomberg covering the gaming business, recently authored a germane news article. Through her report, she emphasized how Twitch viewers are developing cryptocurrency gambling addictions after watching their favorite streamers "play" slots on livestreams.
The piece puts a spotlight on the Twitch gambling problem and depicts the story of various viewers who succumbed to gambling addictions after watching it on livestreams. The first story is of a Canadian hospital accountant who got into gambling after watching his favorite streamer Felix "xQc" play it on stream.
After watching the streamer play crypto-slots on sponsored streams for the gambling giant Stake.com, he ended up using xQc's promotional link to make his own luck. However, it got bad pretty soon, as he ended up blowing through his life savings in a short time, forcing him to declare bankruptcy.
The impetus to gamble on the website indubitably came from watching Twitch streams, as he described his actions by stating that it:
"Gave me a reason to go on Stake, like I was a part of what they were doing."
With big variety streamers such as xQc and Tyler "TrainwrecksTV" suddenly playing slots on their channels, this has put them at the forefront of the Twitch Gambling Meta. Many young fans, initially attracted to video games, are getting exposed to gambling via these streams, which are sponsored by the same website used by these creators.
The Bloomberg article also quotes Vaibhav Kumar, who got into gambling after the Twitch meta took over, but has since given up on crypto-gambling after watching sponsored streamers. He realized the streamers were getting paid to offset on-stream losses, but nothing like that exists for average players.
The report suggests that huge sponsorships by companies like Stake are working as intended, as many from Twitch have started using their services to gamble online. These sponsored streamers bet gargantuan amounts of money on a regular basis, attracting a lot of attention. Here is a clip from last month where xQc lost $170K in two minutes:
Is Twitch striking back?
The Twitch gambling scene is also inundated with streamers who solely stream slots and have a massive following. For instance, creators such as Ishmael "Roshtein" are dedicated gambling streamers who pull in millions of views per month. Many have called on Twitch to stop gambling on the platform, and that may be a glimmer of hope.
With that being said, Twitch's response to gambling has been lukewarm at best. One major win for anti-gambling proponents, however, was when the platform banned any kind of affiliate or promotional link program.
Aside from that, a Twitch spokesperson has told Bloomberg that Twitch Gambling might just be in its final days as the company is currently dissecting its roots.