Twitch is facing a possible penalty from the German gambling regulator over its stance on gambling ads. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Not up to snuff
The German gambling regulator said it was not satisfied with the updated community guidelines provided by Twitch.
They are criminal offenses under the Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty
Die Glücksspielbehörde (GGL) said that Twitch is making progress, but it has not yet materialized. Gambling advertisements for operators that are not regulated by German authorities are prohibited and are considered criminal offenses under the Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty.
GGL was only recently created, but it has already begun to function as the executive arm of the German government. The regulator will take full control of online gambling regulation on January 1, 2023 and has suggested that Twitch review its policy again before that day.
German Gambling Position and Twitch Politics
Twitch does not seem to escape controversy in the gambling world. A community update released on September 20 said that from October 18 all unregulated gambling streams will be banned from the platform.
Gambling took off on Twitch this year thanks to the influence of big players like Trainwreck and celebrities like Drake who frequent the platform. Viewers were able to feel a level of secondary excitement as staggering amounts were put on the line with every spin, drag and click of the mouse.
All “unsafe gambling, roulette and dice gambling sites” will be banned from unlicensed operators
Gambling ads were stuck in the wake of Twitch’s anti-gambling cries. According to a community update, “unsafe gambling, roulette and dice sites” will be banned from unlicensed operators once the October deadline hits. However, little clarity was provided on what constitutes “unregulated”, depending on the specific market.
GGL has dealt with Twitch’s opaque framework and negligence in clearing existing laws.
“In Germany, any form of advertising or drawing attention to illegal gambling sites is prohibited,” GGL said. “Permissions from European or non-European authorities, for example, American, will not be recognized in Germany. The gambling service providers that are allowed in Germany are on the official white list.”
drawing the future
Twitch is at a crucial stage in planning its relationship with the gambling industry.
For example, a recent Twitch ban targeted unregulated casino sites and prevented live streamers from displaying web addresses. However, he did not directly state that operators cannot gamble in any capacity.
Many broadcasters continue to host gambling streams
As a result, many streaming creators have continued to host gambling streams with minor tweaks – either they avoid blocked sites, or they expand their screens to hide the URL.
Germany’s Orangemorange, a certified Twitch partner with 544K followers, is one of those people exploiting the loophole. He has gone so far as to challenge the platform to stop him and plans to continue his gambling streams.
Which direction Twitch chooses to follow can decide a lot for the company. There is a world where they use their newfound wealth to partner with online sports books and even collaborate with mainstream sports, similar to what Amazon Prime did with Friday Night Football.
However, if Twitch chooses to pursue this path, GGL has promised that it will face criminal prosecution. The 2021 State Treaty on the New Regulation of Gambling In Germany it states that violations of advertising requirements are punishable by up to 500,000 euros ($499,298).