Twitch Responds to Rise in Gambling Streams With Promise of Changes

Posted on: August 9, 2022, 12:12h. 

Last updated on: August 9, 2022, 04:05h.

A recent Bloomberg article has called out a Twitch personality over his commentary on gambling and its influence on viewer habits. Twitch says it will conduct a “deep-dive” into gambling streams on its service and take appropriate measures to “protect” its community.

Felix "xQc" Lengyel
Felix “xQc” Lengyel, a popular streamer on Twitch, during a recent Livestream. The content creator’s production of gambling streams is causing trouble for Twitch. (Image: Dot Esports)

Felix “xQc” Lengyel, is a popular personality doing gambling broadcasts on Twitch. He provides sports commentary but doesn’t focus on odds. He streams his own gambling activity and also has some eSports analysis. He is also a former professional Overwatch watcher and is a Streamer of the Year nominee.

Cecilia D’Anastasio’s Bloomberg article chastised Lengyel for his gambling-related streams. She accused him of using his popularity to deliver millions of dollars to sports betting site Stake at the expense of his viewers, some of whom lost tens of thousands of dollars.

Lengyel claims the article isn’t accurate

The issue in question relates to the rise of gambling content on the service. Twitch contends that gambling content on the platform only comprises a “small fraction” of its total content.

Pushing False Narratives

Lengyel revealed the amount he has already invested in bets and gambling titles on Stake but denied that he was inducing others to gamble beyond their means.

On several occasions, Lengyel showed a table from Stake that provides wagering history statistics. He’s been busy, having wagered $685 million. His history showed, at the time, 656,375 gambling sessions, in which he won $63,057 and lost $583,405.

He also made money from Twitch for attracting viewers to his stream, which can be monetized. One major source of his funding is sponsorship by Stake.

Bloomberg asserted that, in May, Lengyel was responsible for driving $119 million in revenue to Stake. In addition, D’Anastasio accused Lengyel of sharing a promo code that delivered that amount to the platform.

Lengyel, in turn, responded by accusing Bloomberg of warping the data to push a narrative. Bloomberg couldn’t have known how much if any, Stake might have received, he contended. In addition, he stated that he never used the promo code the reporter mentioned.

Damage Done

As a result of the accusations, which also revealed supposed details on other streamers, Twitch had to move into damage control mode. The service said it would seek to prevent any harm to its community. How that would be achieved and what that means remains to be seen, and details were not provided.

This isn’t the first time Twitch has found itself in this situation. In August last year, it announced a ban on gambling referral codes and links to online gambling platforms. These are the same types of codes that Lengyel allegedly used.

However, after the furor died out, the streaming platform seemed less interested in addressing the topic. The same scenario may play out this time around, as well.