Gaming fans are well aware of Twitch, which allows competitors to engage in e-sports, online competitions and much more. But the streaming platform has also gained some notoriety for its gambling accessibility, particularly for its crypto slots which allow for endless bets using bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency. The scary thing is that area of the platform remains completely unregulated, which is leading many advocates to speak up on behalf of those suffering from betting addictions.
The website Buzzfeed recently covered this growing trend, shining a light on the gambling dangers associated with Twitch. Writer Lauren Strapagiel broke down some of the specific temptations a channel like this can pose, particularly now that crypto slots have earned their own streaming category. And, of course, it doesn’t help to have the experience built up to be a flashy and visually stimulating experience; welcoming gamers to drop as much as $1,000 on each spin.
Strapagiel shared concerns from several influencers on the platform, including the noted World Of Warcraft gamer Asmongold. In a Tweet that was “Liked” over 14,000 times, he laid out why Twitch’s crypto slots are so problematic.
And Asmongold wasn’t the only high profile name to cry foul. The issue has gotten so serious that the executive director of The National Council on Problem Gambling made a statement about it. Speaking to Buzzfeed, Keith Whyte called out the accessibility of the crypto slots and the risks it poses to underage minors. “We at NCPG absolutely believe that the current Twitch environment leads to and likely exasperates gambling addiction among vulnerable viewers, both adults and in particular children or adolescents,” he told the site. “There’s plenty of evidence that watching gambling can trigger the urge to gamble yourself. It also normalizes the act.”
The most popular slots platform on Twitch happens to be called Stake. It labels itself as an online casino and strictly uses cryptocurrency, making transactions much more difficult to track. It is also most commonly accessed via VPNs, which is a purposely evasive tactic.
The call to action is for Twitch to crack down on these platforms, forcing them to close and put more safeguards in place for all younger users (in the hopes that it can steer them away from any type of compulsive behavior). As we’ve mentioned before, online gambling tendencies have increased dramatically throughout the COVID-19 pandemic so it is imperative that these users (particularly youngers ones) are made aware of these types of dangers.