The CEO of the streaming site Twitch has spoken out about the company’s decision to ban “unregulated” gambling content, explaining that it was bad for his "community".
Dan Clancy, the CEO of Amazon-owned Twitch, explained that the amount of money that was flowing from gambling partnerships was “significant” but it only went to a “small number of creators” who were driving people to unregulated gambling sites.
“The thing that was growing was these unregulated offshore gambling sites”, which Clancy went on to describe as “sites that there’s nobody overlooking to see, for example, what are the odds on the craps tables, are they tweaking them, do they change them, cause they’re not regulated”, he said in a Twitch interview with a streamer known as Filian on May 31.
When pressed about whether he could ever see unregulated gambling sites returning to Twitch, Clancy explained that if they “become regulated, and are willing to adhere to the regulations of most major countries, in terms of what they need to do as a gambling site, then of course”.
In 2021, Twitch banned users from sharing links to gambling sites, following controversies over gambling addiction and underage play.
However, after monitoring the update’s impact, as well as hearing directly from its consumers, “it became clear that some people were circumventing those rules, and that further steps were necessary”, Twitch said.
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”.
Twitch then updated its policies in October 2022, prohibiting 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.
The streaming platform also warned that it may identify other sites as it moves forward.
However, the drive to ban unlicensed gambling content on Twitch did not satisfy several European gambling regulators who publicly expressed concerns about illegal advertising on the platform.
Germany’s Joint Gaming Authority for the Federal States (GGL) told Twitch that any advertising of unlicensed gambling in Germany is illegal, including those licensed by US or other European authorities.
Similarly, a Norwegian official said the gambling regulator wrote to Twitch protesting what it sees as “illegal marketing of gambling without a licence in Norway”, adding that the issue could also be a matter for Norwegian media regulators.