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Gambling in streaming: Should it be allowed?

By William Davis

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Sep 13, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Gaming and streaming make quite a match, but the myriad of ethical and legal dilemmas make platforms question if it should be allowed.

Gambling is an ever-expanding sector that records impressive revenue figures year after year, but with the development of technologies and the emergence of new entertainment, the gambling industry has to adapt to survive and thrive. As a result, it has started venturing into streaming, generating much controversy among streaming platforms and their viewers. 

Opinions remain mixed about allowing live gambling games on platforms like Twitch, and the laws around it vary between countries and streaming platforms. On Twitch, for instance, streaming gambling games have been completely banned since 2022. The same is true in certain countries, even those with somewhat relaxed gambling legislation. 

In France, for example, the promotion of online gambling is completely banned aside from a specific handful of exceptions. Showcasing nonexempt games through streaming is just as unlawful, with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment.

In contrast, in the United States, broadcasting live gambling games on streaming platforms is still subject to certain regulations. Several states might require you to get a license or specific permission to broadcast live gambling games, whereas others have fewer restrictions. Streaming this type of entertainment is therefore not completely banned, but rather a highly regulated and supervised activity. 

In fact, playing at online casino sites is technically illegal in a large portion of the United States. Only six have legalized these platforms to date, prompting many gamblers to turn to a crypto casino instead. These platforms are open to anyone, even those based in states or countries without legal online casinos. This creates even more of a gray area regarding gambling streaming. Prior to Twitch’s ban on such content, popular streamer Trainwrecks was regularly playing at a crypto casino to his 25,000-strong fanbase.

xQc partners with Kick and gets a warning within a week

Following Twitch’s ban on gambling games, the controversy surrounding the introduction of gambling in the streaming world intensified with recent news. Earlier this year, streaming star Felix “xQc” Lengyel decided to sign a contract with the streaming company Kick.

xQc frustrated on Twitch

However, barely a week after the deal, a Kick staff member issued a copyright violation warning to the renowned streamer as he streamed the 2008 movie “The Dark Knight.” xQc notably violated the rules of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of the United States—showing that it’s not just gambling games that can land streamers in hot water.

Whether or not Kick will follow Twitch’s lead and ban gambling games remains to be seen—as does whether this would be a positive thing or not. Many fans enjoy watching these streams because they share the players’ excitement and can learn how a game works before giving it a go for themselves, and for those reasons, streaming these games could be here to stay, at least for the time being.

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