Video game live streaming hub Twitch currently has over 33 million active users in the USA, and shows no signs of slowing down. The platform’s phenomenal success is steeped in the fact that it allows fans of eSports and gaming to follow game-play of their favorite gamers. For the most part it’s a harmless form of entertainment along with digi-social interaction and engagement. However, the inherent nature of the service (eSports and gaming) opens vulnerable users up to risk – addiction. There have already been concerns about video game addiction on Twitch, but those concerns are now compounded by the threat of gambling.
In allowing users to watch gamers play online slots along with table games and various forms of sports betting, they are directly exposed to online gambling services. Like with any social network, popular Twitch players are influencers. Users will seek out the same games that they (the influencers) play, sign-up, deposit, and play. From there a gambling problem may ensue. But another form of risk came to light this past week when Twitch member ItsSliker bilked followers out of an estimated $200,000 so that he could gamble on streams. You can read through all of the details here, but rest assured that the whole thing occurred on the platform. No matter how you look at it, the gambling streaming feature on Twitch is a gateway for those who are susceptible.
Critics of gambling on Twitch were quick to capitalize on the recent event. There’s even a Change.org petition in play to get Twitch to put an end to gambling all together. Twitch has taken some action (more on that below) but if you or someone you care about may have a problem with gambling addiction on Twitch, it may be time to switch things up. Let’s review.
Fighting Gambling Addiction on Twitch and What You Can Do if it’s Impacting You (or someone in your life)
What’s Being Done
After the ItsSliker scheme this week, Twitch issued on update on gambling:
On the surface this seems like a move in the right direction. Twitch had already banned the use of affiliate referral links and promo codes (to gambling sites) and as of October 18/2022 they will ban operators who are not licensed in the United States. Is this enough?
Why It’s Not Enough
You don’t need to read between the lines to find that Twitch is simply just banning streaming of games being offered by offshore online casinos and the like. Licensed online casinos in the USA will still enjoy exposure on the platform. Moreover, sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker will continue to be permitted on Twitch. Excuse the crude analogy, but it’s like the government patting itself on the back for pulling heroine off of the streets, while allowing pharmaceutical companies to keep pushing oxycontin and other opioids. Harsh comparison, we know, but for a vulnerable individual who is susceptible to gaming addiction, the allowance of gambling on Twitch makes the analogy unfortunately apt.
What You Can Do
Given that you’ve gone online and searched “gambling addiction Twitch”, it’s safe to assume that you or someone you care about may have a gambling problem connected to the platform. And as alluded to in the introduction, this problem may be twofold – the addiction may be to gambling, to gaming, or both. Considering this, we have three calls-to-action for you. For starters, take this short quiz to see if you (or whomever) may have a gambling disorder, followed by this questionnaire to find out if the addiction is to gaming. Lastly (and most importantly) follow up with a FREE 15-minute consultation so we can assess your needs and recommend a plan of action.
Unsure if a consultation is right for you at this time? Do you still have some questions or concerns? Call us for a friendly noncommittal conversation at +1 (877) 426-4258 or send us an email with your questions to [email protected].