|Title||Twitch Streamers Rake in Millions with a Shady Crypto Gambling Boom|
|Date||Wednesday July 21, @05:42AM|
|from the dept.|
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.
printed from SoylentNews, Twitch Streamers Rake in Millions with a Shady Crypto Gambling Boom on 2021-07-28 00:57:59