CryptoGamble.tips»Beyond Blockchain: Risks and Rewards of Crypto Gambling in Streaming

Beyond Blockchain: Risks and Rewards of Crypto Gambling in Streaming

Ekaterina Abramova Photo in GTA Style
Published on: January 19, 2024
Last updated: January 19, 2024
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The wave of crypto casinos has emerged as a prominent trend in the iGaming vertical, gaining considerable momentum in recent years. Touting improved anonymity, protection, and swift payments facilitated by blockchain technology, these platforms have found favour among players. On top of that, they garnered widespread attention through influencers and celebrities on streaming platforms like Twitch and Kick.com. Notably, crypto casinos function without the licensing oversight of reputable gambling watchdogs, placing them in offshore and uncontrolled territory. This creates a unique landscape where the safety of players is divided between regulatory considerations and the perceived blockchain’s security advantages.
Key Takeaways

The Crypto Casino Phenomenon

Gauging the precise size of the crypto-gambling market proves challenging due to its somewhat clandestine nature. Nonetheless, estimates place the value of this sector at around $250 million in 2021, with over 500 English-language gaming websites actively operating. Comparative data from SOFTSWISS analysing crypto wagering activities in the first quarters of 2021 and 2022 reveals the rapid growth of this market. In Q1 2021, crypto punters placed nearly three billion bets, a figure that soared by 116% to over six billion bets in Q1 2022. Notably, around 35.96% of all bets during Q1 2022 were conducted using digital coins. While cryptocurrencies have gained mainstream attention, particularly in media and pop culture, the marketing strategy employed by crypto-focused platforms often relies heavily on live streaming.

The Influence of Live Streaming

Live-streamed gambling content has witnessed a steady surge in popularity, with platforms like Twitch experiencing exponential growth. Twitch, launched in 2011, amassed 3.2 million monthly users within its first year and soared to over 140 million active monthly users by 2023. The prominence of slot games on Twitch, particularly since 2019 and a peak in 2021, coincided with the increased presence of major streamers like xQc and Trainwreckstv, alongside celebrities such as Drake. Despite media reports revealing cheating scandals, offshore gambling site promotions, and concerns about player/viewer safety, gambling content remains a staple on the platform.

The Deceptive Facade

Investigative findings by Sky News shed light on a concerning practice among top live streamers. These influencers often play with accounts funded by gambling sites, earning money through promotions. Unlike genuine gamblers, their wins and losses are not real, eliminating the associated risks. This allows them to place substantial bets without consequences, promoting this behaviour to audiences, especially younger viewers. Promo codes featured in streams often direct users to crypto casinos, even offering guidance on evading geo-location restrictions via VPNs. The use of celebrity influencers for live streaming, such as Drake, has drawn criticism for targeting a vulnerable young audience susceptible to gambling addiction.

Age-Gating Concerns

One significant issue revolves around the lack of age-gating on Twitch, where a minimum age of 13 is required for registration. With over 65% of Twitch users being under 24, and research indicating a higher predisposition to gambling addiction among younger men, concerns about responsible gaming and age-appropriate content persist.

Irresponsible Streaming

Crypto casino streams on platforms like Twitch often depict gambling behaviours cautioned against by legal jurisdictions, including:
  • prolonged sessions;
  • high spending;
  • and chasing losses.
This not only promotes and legitimises addiction but also endorses harmful habits. Notably, prominent slot streamer xQc took a hiatus in 2022, admitting struggles with gambling addiction.

The Perils of Offshore Casinos

Streaming irresponsible betting behaviours, coupled with endorsements of offshore casinos, poses significant risks. Most crypto casinos are either unlicensed or operate under the jurisdiction of Curacao, known for its lenient regulations. Unlicensed sites lack legal obligations to player safety, payouts, and fair gaming, often leading to fraudulent practices.

To sum up

The intersection of digital coins, live streaming, and online gambling presents challenges to a decade of responsible gambling education. While some of the changes granted enhanced powers to iGaming regulators in 2023, the global reach of crypto casinos continues to grow. Despite efforts by platforms like Twitch to restrict unlicensed gambling site streams, alternatives like Kick.com have emerged, catering to the demand. Emphasising responsible gambling becomes paramount for players engaging with crypto casinos. Educating oneself, setting bet limits, and acknowledging the inherent volatility of digital coins are essential steps. As the landscape evolves, the balance between innovation, entertainment, and player safety remains a dynamic challenge in the ever-expanding world of online gambling.
Ekaterina Abramova Photo in GTA Style
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About the Author Ekaterina Abramova
Ekaterina Abramova, with her profound attention to detail and a personal love for mythological and Egyptian-themed slots, has swiftly made her mark at CryptoGamble. Her passion for slots like "Book of Dead" reflects in her meticulous writing, captivating crypto gamblers with her insightful and relatable articles. Just one year into her journey, Ekaterina's dedication to enriching the gambler's experience shines through, inviting readers to join her in exploring crypto gambling with a fresh, informed perspective.
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