Dan Clancy, Twitch CEO, Doubles Down on Gambling Ban in Revealing TwitchTV Interview

Twitch CEO Dan Clancy stands by the platform’s decision to restrict gambling streams to licensed, regulated sites, despite the fallout that’s driving top streamers to its new competitor, Kick.

Clancy reiterated the streaming company’s stance during a recent candid interview on TwitchTV with popular streamer and VTuber, Filian.

Twitch’s aim, he said, is not to end gambling streams but to restrict play on unregulated or illegal sites.

The streaming giant banned unregulated sites, Clancy told Filian, over their lax consumer protections and high integrity concerns.

The thing that was growing was these unregulated offshore gambling sites. For people that don’t understand, these are sites that there’s nobody overlooking to see, for example, what are the odds on the craps tables, are they tweaking them, do they change them, cause they’re not regulated.

The amount of money that was flowing, where our creators were building these communities and connections that they formed on Twitch, to drive people to these sites, it was a significant amount of money to a small number of creators. And we decided we didn’t think that was good for the community, so we banned the unregulated. In general, there is no problem with regulated, but we do have a problem with these unregulated sites.

Ban Focused on Crypto Sites like Stake, Roobet

Amazon-owned Twitch announced the gambling policy change in September 2022 and started enforcing the ban on Oct. 18.

Last fall, the company said another reason for the shift was to curb the bypass of another Twitch gambling rule that prohibited sharing referral codes or links to sites with slots, roulette, or dice games.

To do that required further action, Twitch shared in the announcement:

As such, starting October 18th we are further tightening our rules to also prohibit any streaming of listed sites that contain slots, roulette, and dice games and are unlicensed in the U.S. or other jurisdictions that offer consumer protections like deposit limits, waiting periods, and age verification systems.

Initially, Twitch singled out and prohibited four crypto-casinos. However, the streaming giant said more operators could be added to the block list.

As of publication, the list remains unchanged.

So far, the online gambling sites specifically banned by Twitch include:

  • Stake.com
  • Rollbit.com
  • Duelbits.com
  • Roobet.com

Notably, the ban includes all domain extensions, including free social casinos.

Sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker streams were unaffected by the policy tweak.

Top Twitch Streamers Turn to Kick Amid Policy Shifts

While noble, Twitch’s rejection of unregulated gambling has negatively affected the platform.

Most notably, a handful of high-powered streamers have jumped ship for Twitch’s newly launched rival, Kick.com.

So far, Kick has signed non-exclusive deals with several popular Twitch streamers, including:

  • Adin Ross
  • Tyler “Trainwreck” Niknam
  • Hikaru Nakamura
  • Ac7ionMan

Additionally, another recent policy change limiting advertising on Twitch has prompted other top streamers to speak out in opposition.

On Twitter, Popular Twitch streamer Asmongold suggested streamers should consider a Twitch boycott.

Even Mr.Beast, a popular YouTuber who doesn’t even stream on Twitch, teased a Kick stream in solidarity with Twitch creators.

In this context, what’s most intriguing about Kick is its connection to the crypto gambling site Stake.com.

Recent reports have revealed that, while Stake.com is not directly affiliated with Kick, Stake’s founders, Bijan Tehrani and Ed Craven, own the upstart streaming site.

Plus, Stake’s popularity with celebrities like Drake, an official Stake partner, has created a Stake-to-Kick funnel as streaming audiences follow their faves to the new site.

Kick Presents Itself as a Reactionary Alternative to Twitch

For its part, Kick is making the most of the recent controversy around Twitch gambling and advertising rules.

On June 6th, Kick offered to cover a new $25 kill fee for streamers who break their Twitch contracts to move over to Kick.

And, in a Tweet posted just after midnight (ET) on June 8, Kick reported it had doubled its all-time 24-hour signup record.

However, questions remain about Kick’s long-term viability.

Kick offers creators more money and freedom, with looser rules and a 95/5 revenue split that favors creators. That’s much more than Twitch’s 50/50 split, even YouTube’s 70/30.

But Kick is still the new kid on the block, and whether its business model will be sustainable over time remains untested.

In the meantime, expect more drama from what’s becoming a Twitch/Kick streaming war.

About the Author

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil (she/they) is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor, and a lead writer at Bonus. Here she focuses on news relevant to online casinos, while specializing in responsible gambling coverage, legislative developments, gambling regulations, and industry-related legal fights.
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