Neymar's Twitch Gambling Stream Puts Rules To Test

March 31, 2023
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Brazilian football star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior’s recent Twitch streams promoting gambling are causing other members of the platform to question how the site enforces its content restrictions.

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Brazilian football star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior’s recent Twitch streams promoting gambling are causing other members of the platform to question how the site enforces its content restrictions.

Félix Lengyel, a famous Canadian streamer known online as xQc, accused the social media platform of “picking and choosing” when it implements its gambling-related rules, in response to watching Neymar’s latest gambling video.

Jimmy Donaldson, known as MrBeast on YouTube where he has more than 139m subscribers, also expressed disbelief that Neymar was permitted to promote gambling on Twitch in a social media post on Wednesday (March 29).

In 2021, US-based Twitch banned users from sharing links to gambling sites, following controversies over gambling addiction and underage play.

Following increased pressure to clamp down further on gambling content on the platform, in September 2022, Twitch announced it would prohibit streams of gambling content originating from sites that are not licensed in the United States or other jurisdictions that provide “sufficient consumer protection”.

Amazon-owned Twitch updated its policies in October to prohibit streaming of gambling websites that include slots, roulette, or dice games from unlicensed operators, specifically identifying four sites: Stake.com; Rollbit.com; Duelbits.com; and Roobet.com.

Twitch has said it may identify other sites as it moves forward.

Following Twitch’s announcement, the German and Norwegian gambling regulators showed their dislike at the decision to ban only some streamed online casino games from the platform, complaining that streamers of unlicensed slots are breaking the law.

At the time of the ban, xQc was actively streaming videos for Stake.com; however, he has since halted making such videos.

Neymar has been streaming for Blaze.com, which is operated by Prolific Trade N.V, since January 21, as part of a partnership between the footballer and the online casino announced in December 2022.

The Brazil and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) striker has more than 2.2m followers on Twitch and 61.9m followers on Twitter. On both profiles, he has a link to a personal website and one to Blaze’s website.

Blaze.com’s website claims the operator is licensed in Curaçao via Gaming Curaçao’s master licence. However, the link on Blaze’s website to Curaçao Gaming goes to a page stating that the operator's licence is not valid.

The company describes itself “as the largest online gaming platform in LATAM” and its offices are based in Brazil.

However, Neymar “will exclusively promote the brand’s online casino all over the world, except Brazil”, the partnership announcement stated.

Extern Problem Gambling, a free gambling addiction helpline and counselling service available in Northern Ireland and Ireland, said “this may be the worst sports/celebrity endorsement of gambling ever" in a social media post on Wednesday.

"Neymar (who hardly needs the money) has over 60 million followers (just on Twitter). How many children follow him, across all social media? Shocking stuff,” Extern said.

Neymar has been injured and unable to play for PSG for more than a month. During this time he uploaded a video of himself allegedly losing €1m playing online poker, causing similar backlash online.

Other PSG players, including Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi, have partnerships with gambling firms. However, none have active Twitch accounts where they promote online casinos.

At the time of writing, Blaze.com and Twitch had not responded to a request for comment.

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