Bring your passions; we’ll help you build a community around them.
That is the official slogan from Twitch, a platform which has helped launch the careers of some of the world’s famous streamers, from both the video game and igaming sector.
October 18 witnessed Twitch implement some drastic changes to its rules that sent shockwaves throughout the industry. These new rules saw the streaming platform issue a ban on content from websites offering slots, roulette or dice games that aren’t licensed in the US or other jurisdictions that “provide sufficient consumer protection”.
Since the inception of the new rulings, using Twitchmetrics.net’s figures, average viewers for the ‘slots’ category has experienced a dramatic drop in numbers.
On October 17, a day before the rules were introduced, the average viewers for the category on the platform stood at 67,715. A mere 24-hours later those numbers dropped by just over 50 per cent to 30,063. Skip forward another day and those average viewers plummeted to just 8,702.
Over the course of the next 11 days, the average viewers dropped to the lowest total of 7,504. However, since then a steady rise to October 31 figures of a 20,551 average has been witnessed.
Though the initial numbers don’t look that convincing, CasinoBeats took this situation to its 100 Club members to go beyond the figures and see if these new rules are a positive for the sector.
“It is always a shame to see something incredibly popular be suddenly stopped”Michael Pedersen, Chief Commercial Officer at Livespins
We asked: what is your reaction to the news and how do you think it will impact streamers as well as suppliers working with Twitch when the rules are implemented?
Michael Pedersen, Chief Commercial Officer at Livespins, stated that it is always a “shame” for something to suddenly stop due to the actions of “a small number of people” and noted some methods used by some streamers were “unsustainable”, which would “ultimately end with Twitch taking action”.
He commented: “It is always a shame to see something incredibly popular be suddenly stopped due to the actions of a small number of people.
“It is clear the interest for live streamed gambling entertainment is enormous, and the vast majority of slot and casino streamers out there have been doing an incredible job of creating content, building communities and entertaining players in ways the industry has never seen before. And doing this responsibly.
“That said, it was clear to us that the methods being used by some streamers were unsustainable and would ultimately end with Twitch taking action.
“Livespins was created to put the innovation of streaming and all its benefits into the hands of the operator as they are the ones working tirelessly and diligently to create safe and sustainable gaming environments for players, and who actually have access to the tools required to do this.
“I think the news took streamers, studios and the wider industry by surprise, but ultimately this is a good thing for all stakeholders but, most importantly, players. If this industry is to thrive, it needs to innovate responsibly regardless of sentiment in the mass media. And this is exactly what we are doing at Livespins.
“…streaming needs to be held or self-regulated to the same level of responsibility as any other marketing channel”Tom Galanis, Managing Director of First Look Games
“As the news sinks in, streamers, studios and casinos will start to think logically about their business and how they can change course – we are already starting to see increased interest from providers and operators wanting to leverage the power of the Livespins platform.”
Adding to the thoughts of Pedersen, Tom Galanis, Managing Director of First Look Games, emphasised that it “only takes a few bad actors to spoil the show” but stressed the industry must put responsible gambling and market practices “before anything else”, which he stated is what Twitch has done.
Galanis explained: “It’s a shame that Twitch has essentially imposed a ban on online casino streaming as it was clearly a great form of entertainment and a way for the gaming community to come together and watch slots being played with live commentary.
“The ban will force casino operators and game studios to rethink this part of their marketing strategies and double down on efforts with traditional affiliate partners. It must be remembered that streamers are effectively affiliates, and many have their own websites that can still be leveraged for the purpose of brand and game promotion.
“I believe that the meteoric rise of slot streaming has actually helped operators and studios to better understand the power of affiliate marketing and we will now see brands and developers expand relationships with affiliate publishers to help them better engage with player communities.
“For streamers that choose to go onto other streaming platforms, the appetite will be there but streaming needs to be held or self-regulated to the same level of responsibility as any other marketing channel.”
“It is my belief the Twitch ban will transition slot streaming away from the wild west “Raphael Di Guisto, Founder at Silverback Gaming
Agreeing with Twitch’s decision, Raphael Di Guisto, Founder at Silverback Gaming, believes that the new rules are a “great move”, even going as far to say that it has come “a little too late”.
He stated that the streaming platform has had a “significant, lasting impact” on the gambling industry, with some of said impact being “incredibly positive”, like its slogan referred to – building a community for online casino players and opening the door for other, up-and-coming multiplayer platforms.
Delving into the more negative impacts, Du Guisto noted: “But some of this impact has been negative, such as underage players being exposed to gambling and the problem play that can result, with some even developing addictions themselves.
“This is simply not acceptable and here at Silverback Gaming, we are dedicated to safeguarding those that play our slots as well as working with the wider industry to mitigate problem gambling.
“The Twitch ban will now hopefully end the practice of streamers playing with fake money and wagering with incredibly high stakes to generate audience interest, boost their followers and ultimately generate revenues from sending players to partner online casino brands. This is simply not realistic gameplay, and only encourages players to wager beyond their means.
“It is my belief the Twitch ban will transition slot streaming away from the wild west and ensure that all parties are promoting slot games and casino brands responsibly.
“Players should want to play slots because they offer the absolute best experience from the first game round to the last; hopefully, Twitch’s decision will help players better find these games and other titles from the developers that have created them rather than just playing games and at casino brands just because their favourite, outlaw streamer tells them to do so.”
“…streamers, like any affiliates, must possess qualities of professionalism, consistency and objectivity”Alex Ratcliffe, CPO at 1×2 Network
Another one of our members, Troy Paul, CEO at SGG Media, noted that Twitch will likely “live again” but only within the framework of the highly regulated legal US online casino industry, a notion that he believes is “fantastic”.
Paul added: “Our firm specialises in social media marketing, and we wanted to be involved in online casino Twitch streaming – but we avoided it until it was in the regulated and licensed market.
“SGG Media has over 1,200 sports content creators/influencers with over 26 million sports fan followers. We will begin to formulate our plans to work with the licensed state online casino operators to sign Twitch streamers with these licensed US based operators.
“We will facilitate the Twitch streamers to comply with affiliate licensing requirements while working with our gaming law firm.
“SGG Media believes that social media is the way to market to the younger generation of on-line sports fans and on-line sports and casino gamblers. This Twitch announcement is an exciting breakthrough and opens a new world of marketing opportunities for our licensed casinos and sports books.”
Our final member selected to voice his thoughts on Twitch’s new rules was Alex Ratcliffe, CPO at 1×2 Network, who stressed that he wants to continue “cutting through the noise” and speak to player communities.
“Streaming is a lucrative marketing platform that exploded into the igaming industry and helped develop communities and engagement with slots and online casino like never before,” he continued.
“However, this did lead to some audiences being taken advantage of streamers, like any affiliates, must possess qualities of professionalism, consistency and objectivity.
“Many of the streamers we have worked with directly have a multi-medium presence, including their own websites with loyal communities. As such, we will be reaching out to the streamers and influencers we have partnered with previously, and work alongside them to continue producing quality content, and deliver it in a responsible, objective and professional manner with the best interests of players as the top priority.
“So long as we keep on making great games and partnering with the right affiliates and influencers, we can continue cutting through the noise and speaking to player communities looking to learn more about the latest games to hit the market.”
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