Twitch attempts to curb ‘gambling meta’ by banning promotion, but some streamers say it isn’t enough

Twitch is now preventing streamers from sharing referral codes or links to gambling websites, following a rise in what’s called the “gamba meta” and growing tensions between streamers around its existence.

While gambling streams have been around for a while, the gamba meta has seen a boom in sponsored streams from some of Twitch’s most famous faces. That recent embrace has normalized the practice on the platform. The likes of Tyler “Trainwrecks” Niknam and Félix “xQc” Lengyel have spent hours spinning virtual slot machines. While xQc has since quit gambling streams, citing addiction, Trainwrecks has spent almost 600 hours streaming in the “Slots” category since April, according to TwitchTracker

(Image credit: Twitch)

These virtual slots all operate pretty similarly. One may take on an Egyptian theme, while another looks akin to Candy Crush Saga. A streamer’s facecam sits off to the side, letting the slots do all the talking. Chat is typically a jumble of nonsense messages, hype or requests to switch to a different slot game. It’s essentially an hours-long advertisement for gambling sites, punctuated by an ever-looming referral code on-stream for viewers to use.

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