Pokimane, Twitch streamers could strike after a $ 200,000 gambling scam

Mizkif sits on his stream with cat ears.

Screenshot: Twitch / Mizkif

On Saturday, a Twitch streamer named Abraham Mohammed, better known to viewers as Sliker, admitted who had scammed fans and other content creators for at least $ 200,000 to fund his own Counter-Strike: global offensive gambling addiction. In response, popular streamers such as Imane “Pokimane” Anys, Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo and Devin Nash coordinated a boycott of Twitch over Christmas week to protest the platform’s lax policies on game streams.

CS: GO contains weapon skins they have real money value on the market of Valve. Since rarer skins can be worth thousands of dollars, third-party sites use them as “casino chips” to bet on the outcome of CS: GO matches. Starting in 2016, the leather betting market was worth an estimated $ 7 billion. Sliker received money from fans and other streamers under the false pretense that her bank account was blocked and that she needed to borrow money to keep her credit score from taking a hit. Streamer Hasan “HasanAbi” Piker was among those who gave Sliker money after contacting and asking for help, falsely saying that, among other financial problems and complications, his payments from Twitch had not been made for that month. Piker later said, “I thought he needed, I thought he needed the money.” But in Saturday’s video, Sliker admitted that telling people he was simply short of cash was a ploy.

In a tear video confessionSliker told his viewers that he had started gambling CS: GO skin, but eventually switched to real money betting. He initially used the money from his first job and “all” his income on Twitch, but it wasn’t enough for him. He started borrowing money from other streamers, lying to them about why he needed the money and what it was going to be used for. In the video, he promised that he would eventually repay all his creditors to him.

“I deserve punishment. Whatever happens, it happens, “he said.” I don’t know what to say to the people I borrowed from … this is the epitome of gambling. I mean don’t touch it. “

Famous streamers Pokimane, Mizkif, and Devin Nash have discussed Twitch’s own responsibility to take action against game streams, which some believe are manipulative to viewers and perhaps particularly harmful to young viewers. In a joint stream, they mentioned that some streamers made money promoting gambling and that gambling was one of Twitch’s most popular categories. Mizkif, attributing the idea to knowledge of him political streamer Destiny, suggested that 10-20 content creators with a large following should send a joint statement to Twitch. Or the platform should take a stand against game streams And sponsorshipsor they go on strike during the week of Christmas. Kotaku contacted Twitch, but did not receive a comment in time for posting. While some streamers await a response, others are already mobilizing. Top creators like xQc and Ludwig claim that they will pay back some of the people who have been scammed, as long as they have proof that their money has been taken. “Ssome of the stories are terrible, “xqc tweeted. “Tthere is no way for us to sit there and watch / listen. I’m done tweeting about the optics of this. I don’t give a shit what people think. “

Of course, not all streamers involved in the conversation share the view that gambling is a problem on the platform. Tyler Faraz “Trainwreck” Niknam, himself a slot streamer, tweeted that “the real problem” was the people who blamed the slots, blackjack and roulette rather than the individual. He claimed sports betting is normalized, but admitted that the practice of streamers conducting giveaways using codes that require viewers to engage in gambling is “predatory”, as is highlighting the game’s winnings while hiding losses. streaming. However, she withdraws significant amounts of money with her lucrative self game streams and sponsorships. shipwreck had previously lent Sliker $ 100,000.

Meanwhile, some content creators, seeing the mobilization of influential gambling streamers, are disappointed that some of Twitch’s biggest names have been much quieter on other issues. “Where was this energy during hate raids? ” Tanya DePass asked (Cypheroftyr), content creator and activist. “Where’s the constant racism, homophobia, transphobia and misogyny on the platform?”

Indeed, this time around, content creators appear to be much quicker in attributing bad luck to systemic problems. “[Gambling] it’s a platform problem, not a people problem, ” tweeted Devin Nash. “Creating the environment for [unaccountable streamers] thrive and they will appear ”.

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