Twitch, one of the biggest live streaming platforms available, has taken the decision to prevent users of the service from sharing any link for sites that offer roulette, dice games or video slots. As of today, the ‘Twitch Casino Affiliate Links Ban’, announced a few days ago that in order to prevent scamming and harmful activity, is in place.
This new ban will prohibit the sharing of all online casino affiliate links, possibly spelling the end of the rise in video slot, roulette and dice gaming content. Just to reiterate, this is a ban on the sharing of referral links and bonus codes using the Twitch referral capabilities.
The news comes shortly after a public outcry claiming Twitch is not censoring its online gambling streams, while there was a threat that millionaire Twitch casino players ‘stroke’ streamers may face legal; prosecution. Studies show that a high percentage of streamers under the legal gambling age have access to gambling content on social streaming platforms. The worry is that these streams appear upbeat and exciting thus could contribute to problem gambling issues in the future. Many of them show players with big wins which could allure youngsters into believing that they could have a career as a gambler or that gambling is an easy way to get rich.
Now Twitch is showing some willingness to put an end to the saga, but just how far will the streaming platform go? And is banning links referrals enough? In our previous report, one of the issues that arose was the exposure of gambling-related streams to underage streaming audiences. A ban on affiliate links does not appear to cover this.
Today’s ban means that we have reached the deadline for creators and users to remove any associated referral codes or links. That means starting from today/tomorrow, anyone failing to comply could be subjected to sanctions, which may include harsh penalties issued by Twitch. Twitch has made it known that even after the deadline, it will endeavour to closely monitor accounts across all platforms to ensure the sharing of content that is related to gambling is non-existent. Twitch stress that it will review rules and regulations if deemed necessary.
Massive blow for affiliates? To an extent, the answer is yes. The affiliate links pay the streamer commissions for anyone that clicks through. It seems the links are now gone or must, but not the gambling channels or special gambling review content. Streamers can still make money from the online gambling niche, but through paid reviews and verbal referrals instead of adding links to sign up to a casino. It’s not exactly 100% tacking the issue, but from Twitch management’s point of view, it shows the company is taking action.
Are the Good Time Over With the Twitch Casino Affiliate Links Ban In Place?
For quite some time popular streams on Twitch have suddenly changed the theme of their channel to include gambling streams. With those streams come links to online casinos with free bonus offers to which the streamer gains affiliate commissions. It’s fair game and good business, but after a barrage of complaints, Twitch has now taken a stance. Popular channels with thousands of viewers are effective influencers in their niche. However, the money paid by casino companies to switch themes or to include casino content is seemingly too good to turn down hence we see eSport channels switching to roulette or slots and adding affiliate links to the casinos where they played the game. As mentioned, streamers with huge followings can still stream casino content and will probably still get paid by some casinos, aggregators, and affiliates. However, affiliate links and links to casino content are not allowed. This could still cause issues because it does mean underage streamers can still access gambling content or at least are still exposed.
Are verbal referrals allowed? In the new rules, there is no mention of verbal referrals, putting screenshots of links or bonus codes for online casinos and betting websites, and advertising these URLs and bonus codes may well be the workaround albeit nowhere near as effective as having an affiliate link leading directly to the money.