Why are Pokimane and other streamers threatening to strike on Twitch?

The revolt rumbles on Twitch. Many streamers have announced their intention to strike if the platform does nothing to ban live gambling and casino games.

If Twitch still hasn’t banned gambling streams by Christmas week, we should get a bunch of streamers together, and everyone go on strike. It was Pokimane, one of the platform’s most popular streamers, who announced the plan. during a live broadcast on September 19, 2022. Such an announcement is not trivial: Pokimane is followed by more than 9 million people on Twitch, and she is accompanied in her initiative by other very popular videographers.

Crucially, this is only the second time streamers have considered going on strike by turning off their cameras — and this time it’s in protest against one of the platform’s most popular categories: game videos. chance and casino.

Pokimane during a live. // Source : YouTube / Pokimane

Twitch has been aware of the issue for a year

Casino streams have a simple principle: videographers play gambling on online casino sites, whether it’s roulette games or slot machines. This is one of the most popular categories of lives on the platform, and some streamers specializing in these games have several hundred thousand subscribers. These online casino sites are not illegal (although they are banned in France, they remain legal in many other countries). However, many problems around this kind of videos have been denounced since last year.

A Wired investigation thus explained that most casino streamers were paid by them illegally. They had to convince their subscribers to register, too, on these platforms – where they regularly lost large sums of money. Some have developed addiction problems because of this kind of videos.

One of the slot machines available at an online casino. // Source : Numerama screenshot

These issues have been known to Twitch for a year now — but the platform has yet to ban such streams, much to the chagrin of many videographers. The only measure taken for the moment concerns links redirecting to online casino sites, which can no longer be shared in stream chats since August 2021.

But, for some streamers — including Pokimane — that’s not enough, and Twitch needs to go further by completely banning this kind of live.

The decision to organize a strike comes after the revelations of the streamer Sliker, who confessed to asking his subscribers for money in order to feed his gambling addiction.

This is only the second time in Twitch’s history that streamers have organized to strike and hold the platform to account. The first initiative took place in 2021 under the name of #ADayOffTwitch, and intended to fight cyberbullying on the platform by asking Twitch to do more.

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