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Years after Twitch’s first metagame of CSGO skins was shelved after Valve sent a cease and desist to various gaming sites, a new type of game is taking the top spot on Twitch once again.
This time, Gambling Meta has returned with huge investments from overseas Crypto Casinos. Many popular streamers have started streaming slots and other crypto gambling games on Twitch under the guise that it is genuine gambling while such gambling sites advertise them to run ads.
Gambling Meta is so popular on Twitch right now that the slots category hit the 6th position in the most watched games on Twitch, beating giants like Dota 2, Fortnite and Apex Legends.
With many streamers drawing thousands of viewers daily on their streams without any disclaimers or age restrictions, the streams provide unfiltered exposure to the world of gaming for kids and addicts.
In a recent report by Bloomberg, they noted that the gambling metagame has gotten so out of control that many of the viewers of famous streamers are gambling their life savings, as well as taking out loans to gamble and lose.
They shared the story of a viewer named Chabot who used to regularly watch former Overwatch pro and Twitch partner Felix “xQc” Lengyel. If you don’t remember, Felix started streaming betting on Stake.com later in 2021 and was also called by many popular streamers as Pokimane during that time.
During those streams, Felix would often run a promotional code for Stake.com, which bills
sees itself as a “leading online crypto casino”. In Stake, you usually exchange real-world currency for accepted cryptocurrencies. Later, you can use that crypto to wager on various games of chance, including slots, blackjack, and roulette. Using Felix’s promotional code, Chabot tried out the slots and started making $1 small bets on his games.
Soon this fun activity went downhill and turned into a nightmare, as Chabot says he spent his life savings of around $40,000 just to gamble and lose it all. Later, in an attempt to recover the lost money, Chabot took out two $20,000 bank loans and spent that money as well. Eventually, bankrupting himself and losing all of his money and assets.
While you may argue that the issue is not with the platform but with the viewers betting on what they can’t stomach losing, you should be aware that the streamers who do stream slots are mostly sponsored and play special games rigged by site owners to promote a positive. winning environment. This positive environment leads viewers to believe that winning big is not that difficult and pushes them towards gambling.
It’s not just gambling sites that are benefiting from the sudden rise in the gambling metagame. Streamers who run promo codes or do sponsored streams take home over $1 million each month. In May, Felix said that the Stake.com promo code he shared on Twitch brought in $119 million to Stake.com. While he didn’t reveal his part, he is expected to have earned over $2.3 million from the average VIP commission alone.
While online crypto gambling is illegal in the US, many online crypto gambling sites have been registered in safe countries like Curacao in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean region. Most of the streamers promoting gambling have relocated to Canada, which currently does not have strict laws against cryptocurrency online gambling.
Twitch can’t seem to rest from the constant controversy regarding the platform’s policies and streams. Previously it was hot tub and pool currents that plagued the platform, which is now replaced by Gambling meta.
Twitch is slow to react and generally only moves after the entire internet starts campaigning against the platform. While the company had implemented measures such as not allowing referral codes or link sharing for gambling companies, a stricter policy change is currently in the works. A Twitch spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company is “currently in the midst of an in-depth look at gaming behavior on Twitch.”
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