Watching streamers gamble on online slots has become a top-10 category on Twitch. As in overtaking megapopular games such as Call of Duty: Warzone.
The sudden popularity comes as a surprise and with controversy, as not only has a petition circulated attempting to ban gambling from the service.
Twitch personalities like Pokimane lambasted content creator Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel for this growing celebrity as a high-dollar, real-money slots streamer.
Online slots surpassed a wildly popular video game on Twitch in May
According to data compiled by Rainmaker.gg, viewers consumed more than 39 million hours of slots content on Twitch in May, ranking it ninth overall. Thirty-nine million hours roughly equates to the entirety of recorded human history. (Good thing the Sumerians didn’t have Twitch, or that whole language thing might never have happened.)
“Just chatting” dominated the rankings with 271 million hours, but the consumption of online slots content increased by 24% for the month and compiled six million more hours watched the Warzone.
Tyler Faraz Niknam, who streams under the pseudonym of Trainwreck, alone produced almost 300 hours of slots content in May, according to the study. His numerous videos also generally amass thousands of views as reruns on YouTube.
Trainwreck Twitch stream has become one, according to a responsible-gambling petition
The fervor over gambling on Twitch has many fronts. Twitch user Erin Jordan launched a change.org petition in May to ban unregulated gambling from the platform. The target is sponsors.
Says the petition:
“Your advertisements on Twitch are being played next to Twitch broadcasters who promote unregulated online casinos that disproportionately damage young viewers and racial minorities.”
Twitch requires users to be at least 13 years old. Legal, regulated online gambling is available in only Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The age to gamble online in those states is 21, except in Michigan, which is 18.
The petition goes on to cite how these streamers are “attaching [their] brand to these unregulated crypto casinos.” In the US casino industry, the launch of new metaverse casinos has become almost a daily occurrence, with responsible gambling advocates also worried about at-risk youths.
Trainwreck announced that he would donate his winnings to charity, but xQc became embroiled in the controversy when he revealed he had entered into a gambling sponsorship deal after shutting down his play a year earlier because,
“I genuinely feel like I’m slightly, if not moderately, addicted, and it’s really bad,” he said on a stream.