In a recent statement, the popular streamer xQc criticised Twitch for displaying double standards regarding gambling streams. He pointed out that Neymar Jr, the famous Brazilian football player, was openly gambling during a live stream, despite Twitch’s ban on this type of content.
Twitch’s gambling content rules: In need of reassessment?
Gambling has been a contentious topic on Twitch, with the platform having a history of lenient rules regarding it. However, following sustained efforts from some of the site’s most prominent figures, Twitch eventually tightened its policies on gambling streams.
Although Twitch has prohibited gambling streams, there remains a multitude of them still available on the platform. However, some streamers, such as xQc, are no longer allowed to feature such content due to the new regulations.
Trainwreckstv and other content creators have publicly criticised Twitch for permitting gambling streams despite their updated policies. xQc, a leading streamer, has also spoken out against the platform for allowing them.
During his Minecraft speedrun, xQc’s chat directed him to Neymar Jr’s stream, where he was taken aback to see the soccer player live-streaming himself gambling and losing thousands of dollars.
“This seems like some pick and choose bullshit,” he remarked. “I don’t want to be some anti-Twitch bandwagoner, but this is some pretty big pick-and-choose dogshit based on the current outrage situation to just feed the morons.”
“There is absolutely no argument here. Not morally. Not legally. If Trainwrecks or I were doing this on this site, the site would probably be banned within 4 days.”
During the stream, some viewers attempted to justify Neymar’s gambling by claiming that Blaze, the platform he was using, was not explicitly mentioned in Twitch’s ban announcement. However, xQc immediately countered that the ban applies to all types of online gambling, not only specific sites.
The streamer’s retort is subject to debate as it may not be supported by factual evidence from Twitch’s Community Guidelines. The current guidelines were updated in October of last year to promote safety and security, as well as to speed up innovation on the platform. Under the “Prohibited Gambling Content” section, the guidelines prohibit the following:
- Share a referral code to a slots site with your chat
- Include a banner with a link to online roulette games
- Verbally refer your chat to a site containing dice games
Furthermore, Twitch does not allow the sites below to be streamed on the platform, or linked to in chat:
Moving forward, Twitch retains the right to identify other banned websites or associated domains in the future. Whether a website is banned or allowed is determined by a number of perimeters, “including whether the site includes safety protections, such as deposit limits, waiting periods, and age verification systems, [or] whether streamers use or encourage VPNs to evade geoblocking.”
Another important consideration is “whether the site is licensed in the US or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protections.”
Blaze is neither one of the listed banned websites, nor an associated domain, keeping Neymar’s betting from being an immediate breach of the guidelines. The next natural step seems to be for Twitch to determine whether Blaze fits the parameters set by the platform’s guidelines highlighted above, and update the banned list in the case that it doesn’t.
However, Twitch has refrained from updating the banned list since it was uploaded nearly six months ago, despite instances of Stake copy-cat casinos spawning on the web. This blurs the effectiveness of such a list as a solution against prohibited gambling sites, as updating the list does nothing more than push the problem another few months down the line.
Cut off the head of one casino, and two more will take its place, so to speak.
Additionally, some viewers suggested that Neymar, streaming from Brazil, might not be subject to Twitch’s regulations, which only apply to American streamers. In response, xQc noted that when he was doing gambling streams, he resided in Canada, yet still had to comply with Twitch’s rules.
Just the same, the guidelines’ focus seems to be on whether the given domain is on the prohibited list or not (or is an associated domain of one on the list), not the source location of the stream.
At this time, Twitch has stated that it has no plans to ban broadcasting websites that are dedicated to fantasy sports, sports betting, or poker.
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