Twitch, the live streaming platform for gamers, has responded positively to concerns aired by The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and EPIC Risk Management over its use of gambling games that can lead to under-age gambling and addiction. With immediate effect, it has imposed a ban on the sharing of links to gambling sites.
Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the NCPG, welcomed the move, but suggested it does not go far enough, saying: “Twitch has taken a good first step to help protect young and vulnerable users by preventing the sharing of links to gambling websites. However, much more must be done.”
He added: “Everybody should be concerned that Twitch still allows the broadcast of unregulated and illegal gambling and that sites like Stake and Roobet pay popular streamers to play the casino games on their channels. It is incumbent on Twitch to focus on the health of their users, especially young people who are susceptible to developing a gambling addiction thanks to what they are exposed to in the streaming platform.”
Whyte proceeded to call on Twitch to restrict gambling content to adult viewers and to establish stringent mechanisms to verify their age. “Twitch should also ensure that streamers who broadcast gambling content are of legal age to gamble in their jurisdiction and the gambling they display is legal and regulated in their jurisdiction,” he advised.
“They should also be required to disclose any relationships with sponsors of gambling, including if the site or sponsor is providing them free play, if the streamer receives any fee or reward for referring users to the gambling site, and a responsible gambling message.”