Dan Clancy, Twitch CEO, has provided context on the streaming platform’s approach to gambling content, asserting that its focus is preventing promotion of unregulated operators.
Twitch first took the decision to update its community guidelines around betting content in September 2022. From 18 October 2022, streamers on the platform are prohibited from showcasing material or advertising from unlicensed casino firms.
In an interview with streamer Filian, Clancy explained the reasoning behind Twitch’s decision, explaining that only unlicensed and unregulated operators have been affected but that content related to licenced firms can still be used on the platform.
“The thing that was growing was these unregulated offshore gambling sites,” he said. “These are sites where there is no one overlooking to see, for example, what are the odds on the craps tables? Do they tweak with them? Do they change them? Because they’re not regulated the team decides what they want to do.
“There’s a reason that you have to VPN in and you can’t do it from most major countries, and so the amount of money that was flowing, where our creators were building this community and connection to drive people to these sites, it was a significant amount of money to a small number of creators and we didn’t think that was good for the community.
“So we banned the unregulated. In general there is no problem with streaming gambling, but we do have a problem if you’re streaming unregulated gambling.”
Attention was brought to the prevalence of certain operators on Twitch by a Bloomberg article, which highlighted instances of Curaçao-licensed gambling firms sponsoring esports streamers and violating community guidelines.
In Twitch’s initial statement last year, the firm noted instances of content and branding for Stake.com, Rollbit. Duelbits, and Roobet.com being distributed on the platform.
September’s community guideline update further strengthened Twitch’s policies around gambling, following a 2021 update which banned link referrals to operator websites.
The focus of Twitch’s sponsorship ban has been on casino content, however, and as Clancy outlined in his recent interview, it particularly focused on unlicensed and unregulated firms.
This means that companies with a commercial focus on esports and/or traditional sports, such as Rivalry, have been permitted to maintain partnerships with Twitch streamers and influencers.
In an interview with SBC early this year, Rivalry CEO Steven Salz explained that the community guideline update had little impact on the firm’s marketing strategy.
“There are a number of bad actors who have not had the proper licence protocols in place, and Twitch has named them – you can go to Google or YouTube and find out exactly who they are,” he said.
“We were really happy to see it, as something that has been frustrating for us since we launched in 2018 was that we have always worked as a responsible, licensed and publicly transparent operator.
“One of the first teams we partnered with, Fnatic, we worked on a campaign with them on why responsible betting and proper licensing for esports betting matters.”