Online streaming is bigger than it has ever been with platforms like Twitch bringing in record numbers for viewers and becoming a platform swelling with new content creators too – whilst gaming is at the heart of what the platform delivers, it has since extended outwards for categories like Just Chatting to grow too, and with that the change in rules that the platform has become somewhat infamous for. The latest category to fall under scrutiny is within casinos and slots like some here for example, as the question is now being raised whether or not casinos and slots should be allowed on the platform in light of bigger content creators recently turning to the category – but why may change be needed?
A problem with protecting younger audiences – One of the biggest arguments currently is whether or not streaming these addictive games is good for the younger audience that tune in – with the bigger creators often having tens of thousands of viewers, there’s no guarantee that all viewers are of age, and although the streams can be marked as 18+ and require an account to view, there’s no verification process to protect these younger viewers. This has been the argument for many of the big changes seen on the platform in recent months but may be something important particularly when it comes to advertisers and the future of the platform.
Sponsors and ads – Another problem that comes up often is something not entirely new to the category as it was a big focus back in 2014 and 2015 with the rise of cosmetic gambling in the game Counter-Strike, following which a rule was put in place that all streamers have to identify if they’re being sponsored following the drama around that situation. Whilst many streamers do, it has recently been discovered that some are not fully disclosing their sponsorship, and when they’re gambling with tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, it does raise questions around how safe the practice then becomes once again for the audience, and a further problem to face.
Issues with the streamers themselves – Whilst Twitch wouldn’t be able to control what each individual content creator is doing on the platform, there may be some calls for ensuring there is at least some protection – if a streamer is playing long hours and gambling away a lot of money, by at least ensuring they’re not able to go live for longer periods of time it could offer more protection to both creator and viewer. One of the biggest streamers in this category recently announced he was once again stepping away from gambling after wagering over thirty million dollars in just a few weeks, and many have suggested that if he wasn’t allowed to stream for many of those hours, that number could’ve been much lower.