Twitch Gambling Crackdown Should Go Further, Says German Regulator

October 20, 2022
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Germany’s Joint Gambling Authority of the Federal States (GGL) has welcomed streaming platform Twitch tightening its rules around gambling content, but the regulator hopes the measure is only “a very first step”.

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Germany’s Joint Gambling Authority of the Federal States (GGL) has welcomed streaming platform Twitch tightening its rules around gambling content, but the regulator hopes the measure is only “a very first step”.

“When streamers promote illicit online gambling, they are acting illegally and face criminal charges. This also applies to the streaming of all forms of illegal gambling,” the GGL said in a press release responding to Twitch's latest streaming policy update.

Any form of image and attention advertising for illegal gambling is prohibited in Germany, this also includes advertising abroad if the advertising effect occurs domestically, according to Germany’s gambling law.

“Permissions from European or non-European, e.g. American, authorities are not recognised in Germany. It depends on the state's permission from Germany. The gambling providers permitted in Germany are listed on the official whitelist,” said the GGL.

Twitch, which is a subsidiary of Amazon, announced on October 18 in a policy update that virtual machine games (slots), roulette and dice games may only be streamed if the relevant gambling provider has permission from the United States or another country that provides sufficient consumer protection. The changes were first made public on September 20.

Twitch provided a list of prohibited sites including Stake.com, Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com and Roobet.com.

However, Twitch said it “may identify other sites” to prohibit in the future.

If players do stream the prohibited sites they will likely only receive a warning or a suspension as Twitch expects the rule change to be an “adjustment for some” and to “be fairer to streamers who may not have understood the change yet”.

The GGL did not respond when asked to clarify its concerns, but Twitch did not ban any streaming of sports betting, daily fantasy sports and poker.

Twitch has also not specified under what circumstances it will allow streaming of online slots, roulette and dice games.

The streaming giant did not respond to a request for comment on the GGL's remarks.

The changes came in response to concerns raised on social media after some of the platform’s most prominent streamers, such as xQc, began making content that revolved around playing online slots and other gambling products for hours on end, often losing large sums of money.

Last year, to address scams and other harms, Twitch banned links or referral codes to sites that include slots, roulette or dice games.

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.

Additional reporting by David Altaner.

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