UK Gambling Commission and Twitch Discuss Casino Streamers’ Gaming Ads
The UK Gambling Commission is in talks with Twitch about its gambling streamers. Eurogamer discovered two unlicensed casino sites being advertised by a number of casino streams on Twitch recently.
Eurogamer reported that the “Casino” category of Twitch streams had 77,029 viewers last Sunday night. That means more gamers viewed the gambling streams than they viewed streams for popular non-gambling games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2.
The number of viewers might not match League of Legends, Fortnite, Pokermon Let’s Go, or Fallout, but it is still a tremendous amount of activity.
Twitch Tracker reported that the casino category on Twitch had a full 153 channels broadcasting gambling games during its peak. The Sodapoppin’ scandal (pictured above) of three months ago might have tipped off Eurogamer’s editors to the possible controversy. Their investigation brought the issue to the UK public’s attention.
Emma Kent Reports on Twitch Casino Streams
Once Eurogamer brought the issue to public attention, people began to ask questions about Twitch’s policies. Why are the many Twitch casino streamers placed next to streams for games popular with underage children, such as Fortnite streams?
Others asked: How do people find video streams of slots playing interesting? The main question was: Why does Twitch have nothing in place to keep children from watching these videos?
Emma Kent of Eurogamer began looking into the Twitch casino streams, she found that they promote unlicensed gambling sites. In Kent’s opinion, they promote irresponsible gambling, with next to nothing to protect children from viewing the advertising content.
UK Gambling Commission on Gaming Ads
That is a problem, according to the UK Gambling Commission. It is illegal for unlicensed online casinos to operate in the United Kingdom. The UK Gambling Commission attempts to prevent such operators from being used by UK residents.
As in the case of Scientific Games social casino games on UK Facebook, sometimes the Gambling Commission’s oversight goes so far as to block or restrict advertisements to UK gamblers, so the ads are a big problem for regulatory agency.
Eurogamer Report on Twitch
The Eurogamer report comes at a time when the UK Gambling Commission is particularly watchful of the effect of gambling on underage UK residents. Recently, the annual Gambling Commission Report found that child gambling has quadrupled in the UK over the past two years alone.
The Commission is looking for answers to why underage gambling has increased at such a rate. The revelations about Twitch’s casino streamers could provide part of that answer. It’s a narrative that Twitch and the online gambling community does not want to be a part of.
Because of recent decisions regarding FOBTs bet maximums and a new tax on offshore operators, licensed UK gaming sites are crying foul about their business operations in the British Isles. Any sign that unlicensed operators are gaining an advantage is only going to add to the outcry, both from voters and licensed business owners.
UK Gambling Commission on Twitch Casino Streams
When Eurogamer reached out to the UK Gambling Commission, its spokesman did not talk specifics, except to say that the Commission is in discussions with Twitch on its gambling stream policies. The Commission spokesman said, “We do not talk about individual cases but I can explain our approach to unlicensed sites.”
“When illegal gambling websites are brought to our attention we take a number of proportionate steps to protect consumers in Britain. This will initially involve assessment of whether the site is actually used by consumers in Britain, and then may include engagement with the site owners, and ultimately working closely with advertising and payment providers to cut off sources of customers and access to funds.”
“We are currently working with Twitch to prevent unlicensed sites being advertised on their platform.”
Emma Kent noted it is a problematic phrase for Twitch, if it truly intends to ban the use of its streaming services for illegal purposes. Twitch did not reply to multiple attempts by Emma Kent and Eurogamer to get a reply on their story.