Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Wednesday July 21, @05:42AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Twitch Streamers Rake in Millions With a Shady Crypto Gambling Boom:

Twitch is in the middle of a gambling boom, fueled by the rise of so-called "crypto casinos"—websites where gamblers can purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum for use in digital games of chance like slots, blackjack, and baccarat. And sites like Stake and Roobet are paying popular streamers to play the casino games on their channels, sometimes offering tens of thousands of dollars an hour, according to streamers and experts interviewed by WIRED.

A WIRED review found that 64 of the top 1,000 most-trafficked Twitch streamers have streamed crypto slots or advertised sponsorship deals from crypto gambling websites, although the trend gained real traction in April and May of 2021. Some streams attract more than 100,000 live viewers. Many of these streamers are members of Twitch's Partner Program, which gives top creators access to additional support and features like increased revenue sharing. It's Twitch's highest tier of streamers, and the company says it looks for people "who can act as role models to the community"—a community where 21 percent of users are between 13 and 17 years old.

[...] "It wasn't my money," Matthew "Mizkif" Rinaudo said on his Twitch channel in June. Rinaudo, 26, says he was getting offers to do gambling streams for $35,000 an hour—double the price tag of his typical sponsorships—for 10 hour-long streams over the course of a month. (One individual who works with multiple Twitch streamers says that tens of thousands of dollars per hour is normal for these streams.) He had streamed gambling earlier this year, just five times in April, and he says sponsors were fleshing out his crypto casino account, once with $5,000. Plus, he'd advertise affiliate links with attractive discounts. Despite the lucrative business opportunity, Rinaudo decided to stop working with online crypto casinos in June. (Rinaudo did not respond to WIRED's request for comment.)

[...] Online gambling is regulated by a combination of federal and state laws in the US. Gambling websites need a license to operate in individual states—it doesn't matter whether they're operating with hard USD or digital currency. Many crypto casinos, like Stake and Duelbits, are based offshore in countries like Curaçao and do not have those licenses. Yet they are easy to access from the US through a VPN. (More reputable online gambling sites ask users for more data points to confirm their location.) "While these sites block the US, they do not prevent access from people within the US," says Jeff Ifrah, an attorney who specializes in online gambling law.


Original Submission

Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Reply to Article Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Opportunist on Wednesday July 21, @06:59AM (2 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Wednesday July 21, @06:59AM (#1158678)

    And people still wonder why I spell it "influenza".

    These people are a disease.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @09:58AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @09:58AM (#1158705)

      >> These people are a disease.

      It's already been determined that millennials are a plague, not a disease.

      • (Score: 2) by fakefuck39 on Wednesday July 21, @06:05PM

        by fakefuck39 (6620) on Wednesday July 21, @06:05PM (#1158816)

        lol millennials are not the instagram tik-tok $7 latte hipster kids you're angry about. they're the ones who are 30, trying to balance mortgage payments with putting food on the table for their kid. I get annoyed when the z-kids call genX "boomers." Which is the same thing you're doing here, boomer.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by MIRV888 on Wednesday July 21, @10:55AM (9 children)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Wednesday July 21, @10:55AM (#1158711)

    I know I am getting old. I have played video games for a very long time. I still enjoy playing PC games to this day.
    That being said, the idea of watching someone else play a video game is just inconceivable to me. I do not understand it as a phenomenon.
      - Old

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @12:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @12:29PM (#1158721)

      they're watching the person, not the game.
      the person is interesting in themselves (probably good looking, pleasant voice, and a talent for commenting on whatever is happening).
      plenty of good movies have a few minutes where characters are literally playing the slot machines, or throwing dice or smth.

      the point is that the person doing the dumb shit is pleasant to watch.
      on evolutionary time scales, there would be an advantage to flattering the good-looking (healthy) member of the group by listening to their nonsense: (1) maybe they mate with/help you as appropriate and (2) you can brag to everyone else that you're "in".

    • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Wednesday July 21, @12:45PM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Wednesday July 21, @12:45PM (#1158724)

      I can see the appeal when it's someone who is good at a game, telling you how to improve your game and how to get better at it.

      But watching someone essentially "unboxing" a game and playing it for the first time?

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by helel on Wednesday July 21, @01:14PM (6 children)

      by helel (2949) on Wednesday July 21, @01:14PM (#1158732)

      I know I am getting old. I have played sports for a very long time. I still enjoy playing sports to this day.
      That being said, the idea of watching someone else play a sport is just inconceivable to me. I do not understand it as a phenomenon.
          - Old

      --
      Republican Patriotism [youtube.com]
      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday July 21, @03:49PM

        by Freeman (732) on Wednesday July 21, @03:49PM (#1158755) Journal

        Watching most sports is boring, though not inconceivable.

        --
        Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @03:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @03:55PM (#1158758)

        I pity people with your narrow mindset because I've found that many people who make similar statements harbor deep seated insecurities from early in life where they were not adept in sport or had their vision of their self worth tied into their inability to excel at popular sport as compared to their peers. If I may generalize, I've noticed that they fall into several groups. One are the people who are very bitter toward sport in almost all form and they seem to be the ones who not only did not excel, but did not show rudimentary competence and were thus most likely teased or ostracized. These people generally promote the idea that intellectual activities are far superior to athletic and it is through these things that they have attempted to assert some sort of moral dominance over others.

        Another group, to which it sounds like you might fall, are those who find they cannot argue against the maxim mens sana in corpore sano, so they argue that pursuing sport as a physical activity is fine, and perhaps even noble, but watching or celebrating a sporting competition is an ignoble activity suited only for the plebes. These people, I've found, have generally been considered "smart", and this stance allows them to participate in physical activity beyond boring exercise regimens while still feeling a sense of intellectual superiority to those around them. These people I've noticed, if they participate in team sports, are usually involved in those considered esoteric where they live, such as, say, squash or bicycle road racing, so that there are not many people who can show physical dominance to them beyond their limited clique.

        I'm not sure how you view those whose physical disabilities do not permit them to participate in physical sport.

        Watching and celebrating sport and competition is part of what it means to be human. This has been going on back much further than there are written records. To deny one this is almost to be denying part of their humanity.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @05:16PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @05:16PM (#1158791)

        I know I am getting old. I have played the violin for a very long time. I still enjoy playing the violin to this day. That being said, the idea of watching someone else play the violin on a stage is just inconceivable to me. I do not understand it as a phenomenon.

      • (Score: 2) by fakefuck39 on Wednesday July 21, @06:08PM

        by fakefuck39 (6620) on Wednesday July 21, @06:08PM (#1158818)

        I completely agree with what you said there, taken literally. Just because a bunch of people are doing it doesn't make it not insanely stupid. Now let's go storm the capitol.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, @02:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, @02:41AM (#1159000)

        I know I am getting old. I have had sex for a very long time. I still enjoy having sex to this day. That being said, the idea of watching someone else have sex on a stage is just inconceivable to me. I do not understand it as a phenomenon.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, @04:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, @04:56PM (#1159160)

        I used to be very dismissive of sports (and celebrities), but had a revelation. They have a very important social function of being "something to get invested in and argue about but doesn't really matter."

        If I get into casually walk up to somebody in a bar and start ranting at how Brexit was the best thing ever, there is a good chance that somebody will disagree... and Brexit has real-world consequences so is important. People will get upset, and "Bad Stuff" could happen. Likewise if I walked up to somebody and said "God doesn't exist, you know," the same thing could happen, as "eternal damnation" is really important.

        If I go up to somebody and say, "Tom Brady really is past his prime and should be cut," it's something to argue about, but ultimately it doesn't matter. Even if you love Tom Brady, the chance of it being so important as to grow to a fist-fight or an "I'll never talk to you again" is exceedingly small. (Yes, there are some sports hooligans, but I'd argue they are the minority.) So sports give something for society to engage with and helps keep a nation cohesive.

        Of course that leads to the negative, that people are more interested in the superficial and meaningless performance of the latest football game rather than much more important topics like (insert political or social issue here), but that's a whole different matter.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @11:37AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @11:37AM (#1158714)

    Government's won't regulate the gambling industry (I include video game loot boxes in this) because they "are as addicted to the tax revenue from gambling as the unfortunate vulnerable customers are to the gambling" [www.rte.ie].

    Gambling is fundamentally a predatory industry and exists at the pleasure of government, industry, and public opinion.
    My great worry is that the behavior of the AAA industry and Twitch in promoting gambling, and deliberately preying on people with deceptive tactics and interface and incentives (in common with social media companies) will have repercussions. We are at risk of seeing a sudden re-demonisation of video games by the media (likely to cover for their and social media's bad behaviour) and the subsequent regulation will introduce a all new wave of censorship upon the industry. A disturbing prospect given the modern alacrity for censorship among our hypocritical governing class.

    Once again, the "free market" leads itself and ultimately others down a dark path. There is a balance to be achieved between reasonable regulation and unfettered rules of the jungle, but our society has lost the ability to achieve those kinds of balances.

    The best we can do is educate kids about gambling and advertiser exploitation online. Hopefully we can do better than anti-smoking/anti-drug/anti-sex campaigns, but I doubt it.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday July 21, @11:42PM (1 child)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 21, @11:42PM (#1158960) Journal

      Government's won't regulate the gambling industry (I include video game loot boxes in this) because they "are as addicted to the tax revenue from gambling as the unfortunate vulnerable customers are to the gambling"

      To the contrary, government heavily regulates the industry. The tax revenue you mention is just the tip of that iceberg.

      My great worry is that the behavior of the AAA industry and Twitch in promoting gambling, and deliberately preying on people with deceptive tactics and interface and incentives (in common with social media companies) will have repercussions. We are at risk of seeing a sudden re-demonisation of video games by the media (likely to cover for their and social media's bad behaviour) and the subsequent regulation will introduce a all new wave of censorship upon the industry. A disturbing prospect given the modern alacrity for censorship among our hypocritical governing class.

      Unless, of course, it doesn't because those businesses aren't subject to the regulation. It's not that hard to set up a gambling website that's not in the US.

      Once again, the "free market" leads itself and ultimately others down a dark path. There is a balance to be achieved between reasonable regulation and unfettered rules of the jungle, but our society has lost the ability to achieve those kinds of balances.

      A dark path that those people will go to great lengths to trample on. My take on this is that if you want a democracy, then you need to accept that some people will make bad choices and just let it go. Not set up some silly regulatory maze that only the biggest and worst businesses can navigate.

      • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Thursday July 22, @02:45AM

        by deimtee (3272) on Thursday July 22, @02:45AM (#1159001) Journal

        Government's won't regulate the gambling industry (I include video game loot boxes in this) because they "are as addicted to the tax revenue from gambling as the unfortunate vulnerable customers are to the gambling"

        To the contrary, government heavily regulates the industry. The tax revenue you mention is just the tip of that iceberg.

        I think the AC mis-stated that bit really. What he meant was government would never regulate in a way that would reduce their income.

        --
        No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
(1)